Guwahati,

Health Talk

Tips to Prevent Dengue

 Dengue is a mosquito-borne illness which has emerged as a rapidly increasing global threat to almost half the world's population in the past few years. The reason for this is attributed to the rapid urbanization with poor waste management of certain parts of the world and to global warming which has resulted in a warmer and more humid climate in which mosquitoes thrive. 

 
How to prevent Dengue?
 
The very obvious best way to prevent Dengue is to avoid getting bitten by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito! Aedes aegypti mosquitoes breed inside and outside the home in containers holding water and rarely fly more than 200 metres from the breeding site. 
Dengue vaccines have recently been produced but have not yet been approved for use in India. You can take the following precautions to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your home:
 
Daily:
* Use insecticide sprays in dark corners (under the bed, sofa and behind curtains) and burn repellent oils/vapours inside your home.
* Turn over all water storage containers when empty and store them under a shelter.
* Cover bamboo pole holders when not in use.
* Loosen soil in potted plants to prevent accumulation of stagnant water on surface
 
Alternate Days:
* Change water in vases/bowls
* Remove water from flower/plant pot plates
 
Weekly:
* Clear fallen leaves and stagnant water in drains and in the garden.
* Clear any stagnant water in air cooler units.
 
Monthly:
* Clear fallen leaves and other blockages in roof gutters.
You can protect yourself from getting bitten by mosquitoes by: 
* Using mosquito nets.
* Using mosquito repellent creams/oils on your body.
* Wearing long-sleeved clothes to cover your arms and some form of trousers to cover your legs.
* Avoiding visiting mosquito prone areas.
 
How to detect Dengue?
 
A person infected by the dengue virus develops severe flu-like symptoms. The disease, also called 'break-bone' fever affects infants, children and adults alike and could be fatal. The clinical features of dengue fever vary according to the age of the patient. There are lab tests available to diagnose infection with the virus. However, the easily available rapid tests need further confirmation by tests which are available only in referral centres.
 
Individuals should suspect Dengue when a high fever (40°C/ 104°F) is accompanied by two of the following symptoms:
* Severe headache
* Pain behind the eyes
* Nausea, Vomiting
* Swollen glands
* Muscle and joint pains
* Rash
 
In most cases symptoms usually last for 2-7 days and the disease is self limiting.
However, severe Dengue may sometimes occur. This is a potentially deadly complication due to plasma leaking, fluid accumulation, respiratory distress, severe bleeding, or organ impairment. The warning signs to look out for occur 3-7 days after the first symptoms in conjunction with a decrease in temperature (below 38°C/ 100°F) include:
* Severe abdominal pain
* Persistent vomiting
* Rapid breathing
* Bleeding gums
* Blood in vomit
* Fatigue, restlessness
 
The next 24-48 hours of the critical stage can be lethal; proper medical care is needed to avoid complications and risk of death.
 
Treatment
There is no specific treatment for Dengue fever. Patients should seek medical advice, rest and drink plenty of fluids. Paracetamol can be taken to bring down fever and reduce joint pains. However, aspirin or ibuprofen should not be taken since they can increase the risk of bleeding.
For severe Dengue, medical care by physicians and nurses experienced with the effects and progression of the disease can frequently save lives. Maintenance of the patient's circulating fluid volume is the central feature of such care.
(Dr. Juri Bharat Kalita is a Senior Consultant, Microbiology and Health Care Management, and Heads Quality for Ayursundra Healthcare Private Limited. She can be reached at [email protected])
 
MIND OVER MATTER
 
Q. My 12-year old son is very restless. That day he beat his sister badly. She got hurt. In school, we get complaints from his teachers every day. In studies, he is not good at all and fights with all other students. At home also he is always running and not sitting nicely. He is not interested in anything and always gets bored quickly. Please advice. 
(Name withheld)
 
Ans: Taking a look at the symptoms described by you with regards to your son, it appears that your son is suffering from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), (of course, a thorough clinical assessment is required for a diagnosis to be made). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. It is a neuro-behavioural developmental disorder. It requires intervention. It is not going to improve with age or time without intervention. Please seek professional help immediately so that immediate assessment can be done and other problems ruled out. This is best treated with a combination of medication and long term counselling with emphasis on behaviour modification and social skills training.
 
Q. Hi Madam, I am studying in class 12. I am unable to concentrate in my studies. What can I do? Please help me out. It is very urgent. I am suffering very much. 
(Name withheld)
 
Ans: You are probably feeling anxious regarding your exams. At times, anxiety makes it difficult for us to stay calm and does create problem with our concentration. We shouldn't give into this feeling. Are you maintaining a regular study routine? Make sure you follow your routine. If you are finding any subject difficult. This is the time to clarify your doubts. Speak to your subject teacher. Take a balanced healthy diet with good portions of fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of fluids. You could also practice few deep breathing exercises. All the best!
 
Q. I am 20 years old and had a relationship with a junior of mine. We had a physical relationship. But last year she left me suddenly and got engaged to a guy chosen by her parents. I do not know the reason why she has treated me in this manner. I feel very depressed but I want to move on with my life. I try to study but am unable to do so. I want to get over this phase of my life, please suggest.
(Name withheld)
 
Ans: It is but normal to feel low when a relationship does not work out. I can understand what you must be going through. It is but human to feel what you are feeling. But how long can you keep your life at standstill? You will gradually have to move on as your ex has done. Concentrate in your studies and career and mix up more with like-minded people. This way you will slowly find yourself enjoying other activities. Don't sit and ponder why it happened, how it happened. It is of no use at all. There is absolutely no point in analyzing why things happened and why only to you. Other people also go through such life experiences at some point in their lives. Take time out for yourself and engage in joyful activities. If you still continue feeling low, then seek professional counselling.
 
Ms.Gariasi Dutta, MSW (TISS) is Psychological Counsellor with Down Town Hospital, Guwahati. She can be contacted at 98640-55560 or [email protected]