What is Black Fever & How to Be Safe from It - Know Causes, Precautions
Created by Zufeen Khan Updated on Jan 24, 2022
What is Black Fever?
Black fever AKA kala-azar is a chronic disease, and highly contageous. It gets transmitted by the bite of an infected female phlebotomine, also known as sand-flies. The bite transmits the potentially fatal - protozoa leishmania, which results in black fever. It is known as ‘kala-azar’ in India, as it literally translates to black fever. In some parts, it is also known as Dumdum fever.
With its recent break out in the southern part of the country, 1 positive case of Black Fever has surfaced in kerala. In past, many states have been severely affected by the outbreak of black-era in their country. In Bihar, black fever disease was once known as epidemic, because of its grip, millions of people had come in the 1980s. There is a need to be careful about children too. Let us know what is black-era and what precautions we take to avoid it.
In the period between 1977 and 1990, more than 3 lakh cases of black-era have been reported in Bihar.
What Causes Black Fever?
The below mentioned causes can be a contributing factor to black fever –
- It is spread by sand-fly bites.
- The sand flies feed on animals and humans for blood, which is needed by them to develop their eggs.
Early Signs And Symptoms of Black Fever
Its symptoms are somewhat similar to those of Dengue fever. These can be –
- Weakness and fatigue – a feeling of weakness, nauseas, leading to feeling drained.
- Consistent fever
- Night sweats – this means your body will sweat profusely during the later hours of sundown/night
- Loss of Appetite and weight
- Scaly skin – this means dry skin which won’t get cured with a skin lotion
- Dark grey, dull skin – this happens due to the spreading of the virus across the body
- Enlarged liver – one of the major symptoms of black fever
- Swollen lymph nodes – another major symptom of black fever
Precautions And Preventive Measures
- Try to keep yourself and your child covered while going out,
- Apply an insect repellent cream. This will ensure protection form mosquitos and sand-flies.
- Keep left-over food items covered to ensure that insects, flies and mosquitoes don’t sit on it.
Treatments are available, but they do have major side-effects. Black fever, though a chronic fatal disease, can be easily avoided and diagnosed early if proper preventive measures and followed and attention is paid to the early signs.
Stay safe and keep your family safe!
Disclaimer: This blog including the advice provided is generic information and taken from WHO & CDC mainly. It is not a substitute for qualified medical opinion. We advice, Always consult a medical specialist for more information. We strongly recommend consulting a Doctor in case of any related queries.