Understanding and caring for dengue fever in kids!
Dengue fever, one of the most common diseases in India, is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus.
Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito within the genus Aedes, principally A aegypti. The disease is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with a dengue virus.
The virus can result in fever, headaches, rashes and pain throughout the body.
Common symptoms include high fever, runny nose, a mild skin rash, cough, pain behind the eyes and in the joints. Some kids may develop a red and white patchy skin rash followed by loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, etc.
While some some children do not show symptoms, they generally last for two to seven days.
Sometimes, dengue fever can lead to a serious form of the illness called dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which is life threatening and can even cause death.
So, if your child develops the above symptoms, seek medical help immediately to lessen the risk. To confirm the diagnosis, the doctor will examine your child, including a blood test for the disease.
While there is treatment for the symptoms, specific cure for dengue fever is still not available.
So in most cases, doctors prescribe paracetamol for the fever.
To help your child recover faster, you can give him/her light nourishing food. Make sure that the child gets proper rest. It takes about 10 days to recover, but weakness and tiredness may last for up to a month.
Since there is no vaccine against dengue, the best way to protect your child from the disease is to avoid the mosquitoes that spread the virus.
-Keep your house and your surroundings clean to avoid breeding of mosquitoes.
-Use mosquito nets while sleeping.
-Make sure that your kids wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks.
-Use herbal mosquito repellents on your child.
-Try not to let your kids go outside during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.