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Friday, 27 July 2012

WHAT ONE MUST KNOW ABOUT DENGUE FEVER

EPIDEMIOLOGY
Dengue fever is a viral disease spread chiefly by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. This disease is common in the tropics and sub-tropical regions as well as sub-saharan regions of the world. It is also seen in America and in Mexico where sudden outbursts of the disease occur periodically.

THE CAUSE
The Dengue virus can be one of 4 different but related viruses known as Flavivirudae. Generally an exposure to one sub-type of virus will bestow life-long immunity to that particular sub-type. However, other sub-types of the virus remain capable of subsequently infecting and causing symptoms of the disease in the same patient.


SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The patient develops sudden high grade fever 7 – 14 days after being infected through the bite of the mosquito. Temperature may reach peaks of 104 -105*F. A flat reddish rash may appear on the second day of the fever and later a measles-like rash may be seen after 5-6 days. There is increased skin sensitivity, intense weakness, headache (behind the eyes), joint and muscle pains (Hence its old name of `Bone-breaking fever’). There is also accompanying nausea, vomiting and swollen lymph nodes (glands). If the platelet count falls below 50,000/ul the patient is likely to go in for the Hemorrhagic variant of this disease where severe internal (G.I. tract) bleeding may take place with serious risk to life. Such cases need immediate hospitalization with access to fractionated blood (platelets).

DIAGNOSIS
The widely used blood test for Serum NS1 Antigen and IgM and IgG antibodies generally suffices. Other more specific tests are known such as the Polymerase Chain Reaction test, but such tests are not available except in referral hospitals and may take time to perform besides being expensive for screening purpose.

TREATMENT
No specific treatment is available in allopathy except symptomatic treatment. (Anti-pyretics, Analgesics and I.V. fluids in cases of severe dehydration).

WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION estimates suggest that there are 50 million cases of Dengue all over the world every year of which nearly 5 Lakh cases are hospitalized.

Contrary to popular belief, Homeopathy works extremely rapidly and with great efficacy in Viral diseases such as Dengue fever. Homeopathic literature is replete with cases of Dengue fever treated successfully with Homeopathic medicines without the need for hospitalization and I.V. fluids. Murphy’s Repertory under the Chapter FEVER: Dengue; lists 16 proven drugs for this scourge.

In the days before modern medicine took over the health care facilities, Homeopathy was very popular and in wide use all over America and also in India where thousands of cases were treated with this cheap, efficacious and gentle medicine. The cost of Homeopathic treatment of Dengue fever is only a fraction of the cost of treatment with modern medicine. Given the poor hygiene and lack of proper sanitation in India, it is to be expected that a dengue epidemic is imminent.

DR. KOWSHIKS ADVICE Avoid wearing shorts pants or Bermuda shorts and use long pants at all times during the day. Use full-sleeved shirts where comfortable. Sleep indoors and use protective mosquito nets or repellants. A forgotten practice of placing a tablet of Camphor in each corner of every room in the house will chase the mosquitoes away. However, patients on Homeopathic treatment are advised not to use Camphor in the house as its vapors antidote the effect of Homeopathic medicines.

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