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Dengue, Chikungunya, Malaria: Know the causes, symptoms, treatments and preventive measures

Vector-borne diseases like dengue and Chikungunya continue to create havoc in Delhi with toll rising to over 30 even as more than 2800 people have been fatally affected.

By: | New Delhi | Published: September 17, 2016 2:57 PM
Vector-borne diseases like dengue and Chikungunya continue to create havoc in Delhi with toll rising to over 30 even as more than 2800 people have been fatally affected. (PTI) Vector-borne diseases like dengue and Chikungunya continue to create havoc in Delhi with toll rising to over 30 even as more than 2800 people have been fatally affected. (PTI)

The national capital has now turned into a breeding for mosquitoes, as an outcome of comparatively heavy rainfall this year. Vector-borne diseases like dengue and Chikungunya continue to create havoc in Delhi with toll rising to over 30 even as more than 2800 people have been fatally affected.

While Delhi health minister Satyendar Jain and Union Health minister are in consent that chikungunya does not cause death, it is important to recognise key differences so that the diseases can be cured timely.

The key difficulty that patients and doctors face is in recognizing which is what, given the similar symptoms of the two diseases. In an interview given to indianexpress.com, Dr Ashok Dalal of Primus Super Speciality Hospital elaborated on the main differences, treatment, symptoms and precautions that one could take.

Malaria: Malaria is caused by the transmission of plasmodium though the spit of Anopheles mosquitoes  into the body’s system. The female mosquitoes generally attack during the day. Malaria is recognised through high fever, which generally comes over a period of 2-3 days. Along with fever, patients will experience chills, and may also suffer from constipation, kidney dysfunction and disorientation.

Anti-malarial drugs are easily available in medical stores. Drugs like  chloroquine and artemisinin can be purchased after consultation with a trained doctor.

Chikungunya: It is caused the female Aedes mosquitoes. It mainly affects muscle cells of the body and may cause it excessive pain and swelling in the joints. Rashes are common too. Patients may feel pain behind the eyes and retro-orbital pain. Joint pain is more severe in Chikungunya than in dengue.

Dengue: This too is transmitted through female Aedes mosquitoes. It is a viral disease. In cases of blood transfusion, the Aedes mosquito transfers disease from one infected human to another. Aedes mosquitoes attack during the night. Symptoms of dengue are similar to that of Chikungunya. Bouts of fever is followed by severe body pain. Pain behind the eyes and decreased urine output is also common. Patients may feel respiratory difficulties.

In case of Chikungunya and Dengue, patients are given drugs to subside fever. It is fatal to give painkillers in the first 2-3 days. Patients must intake lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.

Dr Dalal, who is a gastroenterologist, said that the best way to prevent these diseases is by not getting bitten by mosquitoes.

Since there are no vaccines or medical ways to prevent these diseases, here are a few suggestions given by him that may come handy:

* Wear clothes that will keep you fully covered
* Ensure there is no water stagnation in your locality.
* Apply  mosquito repellent lotion
* Live in hygienic surroundings

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