Myths around Dengue

Friday, 23/09/2016

Awareness about a disease like Dengue is important. Knowing the cause and symptoms makes it easier for us to fight the disease as it is very similar to common fever and viral so it is hard to differentiate them. But, it isn’t necessary that the information you’re getting from friends, neighbours etc is authentic or not. As fast as a disease spreads, myths related to it spread too.

Here are some of the common myths about dengue.

1. Vaccinations
As much as we’d like to believe so, there isn’t a vaccination introduced for dengue yet. So do not get misguided. Although vaccinations aren’t there yet, but certain preventions do exist for you to follow. Avoiding crowded places, regularly cleaning places that store water, wearing full sleeves, using a mosquito repellent, keeping yourself hydrated are some of the preventions to be followed.

2. Do the dengue mosquito attack 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 in the locality will kill them all.
This is not true. The Aedes mosquitoes can breed anywhere in your surroundings, including your home. Sinks, water pots etc are their favourite spots to breed in. Do not let water stand in any of your premises’ areas. The insecticides aren’t one hundred percent effective, and mosquitoes tend to 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 around. The best thing to do here is to get rid of all unwanted pots, tanks, plants etc.

4. Dengue kills.
Though the symptoms and effects of this disease are severe, chances of dengue being fatal are less than one percent of the cases. 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. The death rate of dengue is also negligible as at low as 1%.

5. Is dengue communicable?
Dengue is a non-contagious disease. Therefore, it never transmits from one person to another. Dengue is primarily transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Dengue fever cannot be transmitted via coughing, sneezing or by touch. Also, you should not allow blood donation by an infected person.
Only a mosquito can, so make sure to cover up the area and keep it free

6. Not all fever is dengue fever.
In this seasonal weather, a big concern is viral fever also. But people tend to confuse viral fever with dengue fever and get misguided. Know the difference. Viral fever is quite common during changes in the weather. People affected by viral fever experience fatigue, chills, body aches, a headache and rise of temperature. On the other hand, dengue fever, which is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, has a severe headache, pain behind the eyes, severe muscle and joint pain (for severity of pain it is called break-bone fever), rash and bleeding manifestation. If you have these symptoms, do not just take an antibiotic (unless prescribed) and sit at home. Go to the doctor immediately.