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Times of India
04 Nov 2012

When 24–year–old Pratham fell ill a fortnight ago, he initially dismissed it as flu. Besides fever, he had body ache and severe muscular pain. As investigations proved, Pratham wasn’t suffering from flu but dengue. It took him two weeks and three visits to a doctor to recover completely.

Symptoms of typical uncomplicated (classic) dengue usually start with fever within 4 to 7 days of the infected mosquito’s bite. A typical patient of dengue fever along with flu–like high fever also has extreme muscular and joint pain, say doctors.

"It is easy to differentiate between viral and dengue fevers. In viral infection, one may have a runny nose, throat pain, mild body ache, weakness. In dengue, the person may have high–grade fever, severe body ache, joint pains and rashes (pinkish in colour) all over the body within 24 to 48 hours of the fever," said critical care expert Subhal Dixit.

Such a patient is advised to undergo haemogram (complete blood count) test along with dengue NS1 antigen test. If the NS1 antigen test is positive, dengue is confirmed.

"Even if the patient’s NS1 test comes out negative, the possibility of dengue cannot be ruled out. Antibodies need sometime to be detected in blood and hence dengue test needs to be repeated after five or seven days," said Dixit.

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Family physician Avinash Bhondwe said, "The most common reason to seek medical advice is fever. Though most people are detected with seasonal viral fever, dengue cases are not uncommon. Despite this, the situation is not at all scary. People often get confused whether it is a serious illness like dengue or just seasonal fever. Whatever may be the type of fever, it can be handled after taking certain measures."

Viral fever is common with changes in weather. The affected people experience mild fever, fatigue, body ache and headache. On the contrary, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS) are less common but more severe. "DHF/DSS initially presents itself with symptoms similar to the regular dengue fever. The disease then progresses to a stage where blood vessels become permeable, or ‘leaky,’ causing a breakdown of the circulatory system, fluid loss, and possibly death," said intensivist Sameer Jog of the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital.

Sounding a word of caution, PMC health chief S T Pardeshi said, "Citizens should keep their homes clean and take care water doesn’t stagnate for long."

24 new dengue cases in city
Pune: As many as 24 new cases of dengue were reported in the city on Saturday. Also, four other people tested positive for the H1N1 influenza on Saturday. This is the third time since last week that such a large number of dengue cases was reported on a single day. Earlier, 29 cases were reported on October 31 and another 23 on November 1.

A health official from the Pune Municipal Corporation said the total number of patients testing positive this year has crossed the 500–mark and reached 531. Five people have succumbed to the disease.

Do’s and Don’ts
* Seek doctor’s advice in time n Sponge your body with tepid water several times a day to lower the temperature
* Drinking a lot of fluids will help loosen mucus and to prevent dehydration. Drink water little by little for optimum benefit. Additionally, take clear soups, fruits juices or warm water often
* Take anti–pyretic drug like paracetamol until temperature returns to normal
* Antibiotics do not help in viral fever. Do not take it unless prescribed by a registered physician
* Do not take aspirin in dengue as it may cause more harm than benefit

* Symptoms of typical uncomplicated (classic) dengue usually start with fever within 4 to 7 days after infected mosquito’s bite.

The symptoms are:
* High fever, up to 105ºF n Severe joint and muscular
* pain n Nausea and vomiting n Skin rashes n Severe headache n Retro–orbital (behind the eye)
* pain The rash may appear over most of the body 3 to 4 days after the fever begins, and then subsides after 1 to 2 days. You may get a second rash a few days later.

Did you know...
* Dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever are the most common mosquito–borne viral diseases in the world
* Only the female mosquito feeds on blood. This is because they need the protein found in blood to produce eggs. Male mosquitoes feed only on plant nectar
* The mosquito is attracted to us by body odour, carbon dioxide and body heat
* The female Aedes mosquito is a day–biter, most active in dawn and dusk

Step up prevention
* Remove all sources of stagnant water
* Deny the Aedes mosquito a chance to breed

Common breeding grounds
* Flower vases and pot plates n Pails, water–storage jars,
* basins n Discarded receptacles n Choked roof gutters n Gully traps n Unused toilet bowls and
* cisterns n AC tray and dish rack tray n Concrete drains n Hardened soil of potted plants n Tree holes

Five easy ways to prevent breeding
* Change water in vases/bowls
* every other day n Add sand granular insecticide n Remove water from flower pot
* plates every other day n Clear blockages and put
* insecticide in roof gutters at
* least once a month

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