Caring for a Dengue Patient: The Do’s and Don’ts

dengue_fever_symptomsLike the Zika virus, Dengue fever is also a mosquito-borne illness. Symptoms materialize about three to fourteen days after infection and may include high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a possible skin rash. Sadly, there has yet to be a vaccine created for treating it effectively. A person with a mild case and early diagnosis of Dengue, along with utmost prevention and care, can be treated and saved. However, those in the latter stages of being affected by the disease have succumbed to it. Since there is no medication yet, the only thing that can save people from this illness is awareness, prevention and providing timely healthcare services to the patients. Let’s have a look at the do’s and don’ts of caring for a Dengue patient:

For Prevention:

As they say, prevention is better than cure. Luckily, we know how dengue is spread and how we can protect our family from the disease:

What to Do:

In order to keep our homes safe from dengue and to make it an unfriendly environment for the Aedes mosquito to breed in, we should use repellents and nets frequently, especially when sleeping. Wear clothes which can protect you from mosquito bites and build your doors and windows to be mosquito-proof by adding screens to them. Also, visit a doctor at the first sign of any fever after being bit by a mosquito.

What Not To Do:

The Aedes mosquito gets attracted to stagnant water. So, make sure that water does not collect in any part of your house.

For Health Care of Dengue Patients:

In case someone is already suffering from dengue or is recovering from it, here’s what you should and shouldn’t do for their healthcare:

What to Do:

It is important to keep the patient hydrated at all times as Dengue causes dryness and dehydration in the body. The patient should be kept hydrated by providing beneficial drinks, fruit drinks and juices. Dengue also causes pain in the entire body. The patient should be provided medication for it. Light and relaxing massages also work. The dengue patient must be given extra protection against mosquito bites by making them sleep under the net and by keeping them covered. Patients are already vulnerable at the moment and another bite might make their condition worse.

What Not To Do:

It has been noted that Dengue patients do not react well to Paracetamol, Aspirin or to any other antibiotic. In-face aspirin and ibuprofen even cause internal bleeding. Basically, self-treatment doesn’t work on Dengue patients. So, it is better to bring them straight to the doctor. Also, avoid blood transfusions immediately unless there is an active bleeding or the platelet count is less than 10,000. If the patient begins to show signs of recovery in the middle of the treatment process, don’t make the mistake of stopping the medication as it may stop them from completely eliminating the disease. Allow the patients to complete the course so that all signs of the disease end for good. Most importantly, no matter if all the symptoms point towards the disease, make sure to get the blood tests done before getting the treatments started to avoid the wrong diagnosis.

If any of your family members or a loved one is suffering from Dengue fever, then make sure that they are properly taken care of. While the cure is not yet present, proper care and prevention has been able to save many lives.