Prophylactic Signs: Saving yourself from Dengue

Reporters Club, Kathmandu: Keeping in mind the dangerously increasing trend of the spread of dengue in the national capital and other parts of the country, a special interaction program was organized where three renowned Doctors who spoke in containing and dealing with the viral disease.  In a special interaction program organized last week at the Reporters Club in Kathmandu, Dr. Bibek Lal, Dr. Basudev Pandey, and Dr. Baburam Marasani provided in-depth insights into the disease, its inception, and containment.

Dengue has been spreading in the Kathmandu Valley and more people are being diagnosed with the disease as compared to the previous years. It is a virus spread by mosquito bite of the female Aedes type. The virus can be detected in the human body only via a blood test. The quickest and most effective way of detecting the virus at the earliest stage is to take the NS1 antigen test (nonstructural protein1). In later and advanced stages there are various other tests to calculate the number of antibodies present in the blood of the infected person.

For people infected with the virus, the initial symptoms can range from mild to high fever, decreased blood platelets and white blood cells, and extreme fatigue. It can also cause bone-breaking fever making the individual totally incapacitated in movement, with having difficulties consuming food. Symptoms depend on the individual while some of them are common. Individuals can also face external bleeding, severe joint pain, and hemorrhagic fever.

Dr. Bibek Lal said that “there were 42 districts that were known to be affected with this virus. It has spread to all the seven federal states and the total number of people affected is 2559 along with 4 deaths”.  He also said that these were “rough estimates and that the numbers were expected to rise because diagnosing and testing for dengue is specific”. He also said that there was a great vulnerability and it had now spread to the mid-hills due to climate change.

(Dr. Bibek Lal) 

Speaking at the program Dr. Baburam Marasani said that “dengue was spreading in the valley due to unplanned urbanization that has created excessive waste leading to pollution”. He said that “it was necessary to take action and fumigate the areas that are close by the riverside and workshops where clean water accumulates in used tires making it a breeding ground for dengue mosquitoes”. Dr. Marasani also spoke regarding our dwindling ecosystem and that there was indeed a lot to be done from the local administrative levels to tackle this issue. He also said that the virus has been plaguing the mid-hills that range from 4 to 5 thousand feet. “Qualitative research is required in this field as it is still very much new for our society, there needs to be more public awareness regarding this matter,” he said.

(Dr. Baburam Marasini) 

Dr. Basudev Pandey Director of the Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital spoke about the dangers and early warning signs of the disease.  He spoke about the spread of the disease starting from Chitwan back in 2004, now spread over to over 42 districts of the country.  He said that ” there are two types of dengue fever, one where you get a bone-breaking fever, and the other a severe form where bleeding occurs from the body. The numbers of dengue infected patients are highly underestimated, and that the government needed to take this matter seriously in order to contain its spread”. He also said that patients need to worry about the signs and symptoms that occur to confirm the diagnosis for the dengue virus. Blood platelet count is extremely crucial in this case and those people who have less than 100,000 blood platelets and also a low white blood cell count should immediately get checked”.

(Dr. Basudev Pandey) 

There is no specific line of treatment for the dengue virus. Paracetamol for high fever can be orally taken multiple times a day, whereas to rapidly increase blood platelet count, the liquid extract of the leaf from the Papaya plant is known to be extremely invigorating. The doctors have advised patients affected with the disease complete rest while consuming a lot of fluids. Other precautionary measures that can be taken is to make sure there is no freshwater accumulation outdoors and wearing full-sized clothing.