Rains can mean a lot of different things to different people. For some, it represents a pleasant break from hot days; for some, it spells trouble in the form of flash floods, landslides and similar extreme consequences; and for some others, it means having to tackle diseases.
Lately, pre-monsoon rains have begun to lash various parts of the country. And while they were a welcome respite from the heatwaves at first, their increased intensity and reach is gradually becoming something of a nuisance.
It is a well-established fact that rain and certain diseases go hand-in-hand. And so, it comes as no surprise that some states are witnessing a dengue outbreak.
According to a study, the most common serotype is DENV-2, which can cause difficulties in people with comorbidities. Dengue fever transmission is seasonal, with increasing activity during the monsoon season (June to August) and the largest number of cases documented in July. However, unseasonal rains have resulted in the outbreak of dengue fever.
Since May 16, some Indian states have reported a surge in dengue cases since April.
Presently Kerala is on alert because all four serotypes of the dengue virus are circulating in Ernakulam.
Meanwhile, the Uttar Pradesh government is ramping up the dengue-testing facilities in the state after an increase in the number of dengue cases, ahead of the monsoon season.
“There are 70 labs in the state with the facility of dengue testing at the moment, and another 88 labs are being developed. Rapid Response (RR) teams have been formed at the block level that will take immediate action. Earlier such teams existed at the district level. At the same time, fever health desks have been established in every hospital,” Director General, Health Vedvrata Singh said.
Bengaluru, the Karnataka capital, is no stranger to dengue outbreaks and has witnessed a steady rise in infections. Recent reports suggest that the BBMP has recorded 331 cases in the city, of which the East Zone accounts for 123.
The infrastructure of some cities makes them more prone to waterlogging during the rainy season than others. And this rainwater accumulation and subsequent breeding of mosquitoes in that water are almost inevitable.
What can we do to prevent the spread of dengue?
Avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to avoid contracting the disease. This comprises taking preventative measures and attempting to limit mosquito populations.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in water-holding containers, including buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots, and vases near standing water. It is best to keep stagnant water away from your home.
And if you live in an area close to such a waterbody, mosquito repellents are recommended.
How to deal with dengue if contracted?
The first step would be to note your symptoms. High fever, extensive headaches, body aches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and emergence of skin rashes are some common indicators of dengue.
People often take fever lightly, but if it persists, the patient must consult a doctor.
While there is no treatment or vaccination for dengue fever, timely medical supervision can prevent any fatalities. Upon diagnosis, a high fluid diet should be taken along with medication.
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