Myths About Dengue

Friday, 23/09/2016

Awareness about a disease like Dengue is important. Knowing its causes and symptoms makes it easier for us to fight the disease. However, it isn’t necessary that the information you’re getting from your friends, family, neighbours etc. is authentic. As fast as a disease spreads, myths related to it spread too. Here are some of the common myths about Dengue.

1. There are vaccinations for Dengue
As much as we’d like to believe so, there isn’t a vaccination to cure or prevent Dengue yet. So, don’t be misguided by such false rumours. Even though there aren’t any vaccinations for Dengue yet, there sure are certain preventions for you to follow. Avoiding crowded places, regularly cleaning places that store water, wearing full sleeve clothes, using a mosquito repellent, keeping yourself hydrated are some of the preventions to be followed.

2. Dengue mosquito attacks at night
No, the Dengue mosquito bites during dusk and dawn usually. A few hours after the sunrise and before the sunset are the peak timings. They bite on the limbs generally— arms and legs.

3. Spraying insecticides kills the Dengue mosquitoes
This is not true. The Aedes mosquitoes can breed anywhere in or near your surroundings, including your home. Sinks, water pots etc. are their favourite spots to breed in. Do not let water stand in any of these places. The insecticides aren’t a hundred percent effective and the mosquitoes tend to slowly become immune to them these days. In fact, even mosquito repellents aren’t the way out. In spite of applying them regularly, you may notice mosquitoes are still around. The best thing to do here is to get rid of all the unwanted pots, tanks, plants etc. that can accumulate water.

4. Dengue kills
Though the symptoms and effects of this disease are severe, the chances of Dengue being fatal are less than one percent. The impact and platelet count that you end up having due to Dengue are different for every patient. How your immune system recovers from that varies. Therefore, not all Dengue cases lead to death. Infant, it has been seen that only less than 1% dengue patients have a mortality rate when given attention and medication.

5. You can get infected directly by a Dengue patient
Dengue is a non-contagious disease. Therefore, it never transmits from one person to another directly. Dengue is primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Dengue fever cannot be transmitted via coughing, sneezing or touching. Do remember that an infected person isn’t allowed to donate blood. As blood is a transmitter, it is advisable to keep the room of the infected person mosquito-free and sanitised in order to prevent the virus spreading to the near and dear.
No mosquito = No virus.

6. All fever is Dengue fever
In this seasonal weather, a major concern is having a viral fever as well. But people tend to confuse viral fever with Dengue fever and get misguided. It’s important to know the difference.
Viral fever is quite common when weather changes occur. People affected by viral fever experience fatigue, chills, body aches, headache and rise in body temperature.

On the other hand, patients suffering from Dengue fever, which is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, have a severe headache, pain behind their eyes, severe muscle and joint pain (because of the severity of the pain, it is called break-bone fever) and rash and bleeding manifestations. If you have these symptoms, do not just take an antibiotic (unless prescribed) and wait for it to be cured. Go to the doctor immediately.