How Does Dengue Virus Spread ? - Tips to Protect Your Child
Created by Faraz Mohammad Khan Updated on Oct 17, 2018
Dengue (DEN-gee) fever is a tropical disease caused by a virus carried by mosquitoes. The virus can cause fever, headaches, rashes, and pain throughout the body. Most cases of dengue fever are mild and go away on their own after about a week. If you are a parent, doubtless you may be worried whether your child may get infected by the dengue fever.
How Does Dengue Spread
The female tiger mosquito spreads dengue viruses. The same mosquito causes chikungunya and has the potential to spread other illnesses such as zika. Unlike most mosquitoes, dengue-causing mosquitoes bite during the day. Their peak biting periods are early in the morning and in the evening before dusk. These mosquitoes breed in warm, humid weather and in stagnant water. This is why the number of dengue cases increases during the monsoon season.
How To Tell If Your Baby Has Got Dengue
In babies and young children, the symptoms are often mild. Dengue in infants and toddlers usually starts with the symptoms of a viral flu-like illness such as:
- Raised temperature sometimes in range of 105 F
- Low temperature (lower than 96.8 degrees F)
- Unusual sleepiness, fussiness, refusing to eat
- Skin rashes
Symptoms can start anywhere from 4 days to 2 weeks after being bitten by an infected mosquito, and typically last for 2 to 7 days.
Protect Your Child Against Dengue
The best way to protect your child is to get rid of the mosquitoes that spread the virus. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Make sure your house and the surrounding area is clean and free of any stagnant water or rotting vegetation. You can also do the following to protect your child
- Dress your child in long-sleeved clothing and trousers to reduce exposed skin
- Use an age-appropriate mosquito repellant
- If you do not already have them, install mosquito meshes on windows
- Stay in places that have air conditioning or have screens on windows and doors
- Keep your baby's crib, stroller, and baby carrier covered with mosquito netting at all times, both indoors and outdoors
Also Read : 8 Dengue Prevention Home Remedies For Your Child
How To Treat Dengue In Your Child
As of now, there is no specific cure for dengue, but there is treatment for the symptoms. You can do the below
- Make sure your child gets plenty of rest
- Give your child loads of fluids to drink. Breastfed babies should be fed more often
- Use wet cloth or sponge on forehead to lower temperature
- Give your baby acetaminophen to relieve fever and pain. Don't give NSAIDS like ibuprofen or aspirin
If your baby gets worse or starts vomiting in the first 24 hours after the fever goes down, go the hospital or emergency room immediately.
Babies who develop the more severe dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) may be hospitalized and given fluid replacement therapy. When diagnosed early, DHF can be effectively treated this way. Dengue usually lasts up to a week and may last up to 10 days