Every year, India’s monsoon season brings with it a spurt of vector-borne diseases, with Dengue amounting to the highest number of cases. While the epidemiology of the mosquito-borne virus has changed significantly over the past few decades, it continues to affect several parts of the country.
In recent months, some of the most-affected states were Delhi, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, and Manipur. As per the National Centre for Vector-Borne Diseases Control, until September 2022, the total number of deaths from Dengue stood at 44. Out of these, 20 were reported from Kerala, another state witnessing an unprecedented rise in Dengue cases.
The Reason Behind the Sudden Yet Prolonged Surge of Dengue Cases in India
As winter is approaching most parts of India, the sudden yet prolonged surge in Dengue cases, a vector-borne disease, has left people alarmed. However, experts believe that the primary reason Dengue continues to be a peril is delayed monsoon withdrawal, a natural phenomenon that leads to a gradual decrease in temperature.
The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) stated that in 2022, monsoon withdrawal was deferred by approximately three days. As a result, water-logging and general environmental conditions proved conducive for vector-borne mosquitoes and microorganisms to continue breeding. Similarly, the lack of timely diagnosis has also significantly contributed to recent fatalities caused by the virus.
Preventive Measures Are the Need of the Hour
As Dengue cases are rising across India, preventive measures are the need of the hour. Here are some steps that can protect you against Breakbone Fever:
Watch Out for Breeding Sites
The very first step to prevent Dengue is to watch out for breeding sites. These include objects and spaces with stagnant water, including trash cans, swimming pools, air coolers, and flower pots. Similarly, it is best to ensure there are no damp environments in your home as these also attract mosquitoes.
Use Mosquito Repellents
Today, the market is flooded with different types of mosquito repellents, and you can easily find everything from sprays and vaporisers to patches and wipes. Thus, it is essential to make use of these repellents, whether you are indoors or outdoors. For children, patches and gels are the safest options.
Add Mosquito-Repellent Plants to Your Home
A great way to have natural mosquito repellents in your home is to add plants like Eucalyptus, Neem, Tulsi, and Lemongrass. These plants have properties that keep mosquitos astray and should ideally be placed near windows, doors, and open spaces.
Dengue or COVID-19: Know the Difference
Dengue and COVID-19 have several overlapping symptoms, often making it hard to differentiate between the two; however, knowing the main signs of both infections can be helpful. For instance, mucosal bleeding, vomiting, nausea, rashes, and headaches are consistent with Dengue. On the other hand, throat soreness, fatigue, breathing difficulty, and diarrhoea are more common with COVID-19.
Another telltale sign is the intensity of the fever. In COVID-19 cases, fevers are mostly mild or moderate and can be managed at home. Plus, fevers during a COVID infection do not always persist. But when fighting Dengue, patients are more likely to experience high fevers for prolonged periods.
Similarly, both infections have a different incubation period, which is the time between exposure to the virus and the onset of symptoms. While this duration can be anywhere between 3 to 10 days for Dengue, it might last up to 14 days for COVID.
However, it is best to get tested for both Dengue and COVID-19 if you experience any such symptoms, as timely diagnosis and treatment are critical.