New research indicates that rising mean temperatures all over the country could be helping mosquitoes incubate the dengue virus faster, resulting in more cases.
Over the years, India has come to be in the grip of a silent but deadly virus – the dengue virus. It is transmitted from infected mosquitoes to human beings with a single bite. While the illness was brought under some control a decade ago, it has reared its ugly head over the last five years with a vengeance.
And higher temperatures in the country could be a reason.
Hotter temperatures = More dengue?
What is the link between a rise in temperature and increased outbreak of dengue? A recent study quotes that warmer temperatures help the dengue virus incubate faster in the mosquitoes’ bodies. With every recorded increase in temperature, there is increased potential for faster virus incubation and a higher propensity for transmitting it to humans. This could explain, along with other factors, why there are more cases of dengue outbreaks reported all over the country.
A major factor that contributes to the spread of dengue is bodies (pools, puddles) of standing fresh water. These water bodies become sites for mosquito breeding. Meanwhile, if an infected mosquito bites a human being, the dengue virus is transmitted to the blood stream of that human being. After a brief incubation period inside that human being’s body, the virus manifests itself, primarily with symptoms of dengue fever.
The symptoms of dengue
It is often easy to confuse the symptoms of dengue fever with those of malaria fever. The two ailments share a few symptoms, such as high fever and chills. However, dengue is more severe in form, and can be more resistant to treatment if diagnosed late. These are the symptoms of dengue to watch out for:
- High fever
- Acute joint and body ache. The ache may be so severe that it may force a person to move differently than usual
- Nausea and inability to eat food, especially at higher temperatures
How to treat dengue
Early detection and timely medication are key to treating dengue. The ailment is physically exhausting and painful, so adequate rest and intake of fluids can help in the treatment. As far as possible, it is important to rest and keep away from stress during the recovery period. A diet of fresh fruit and vegetables, with warm water and light food, can help you keep your strength up. If there are many mosquitoes in the house, spray the indoor areas with Mortein spray to kill them.
Meanwhile, it is vital to find the source of the dengue infestation. Do away with all standing and stored water in the house. If you must store water to drink, make sure the container is covered with a lid at all times. If you spot standing water in the vicinity of your house (rainwater gutters, swimming pools, etc.) do alert the civic authorities at once. The municipal authorities can conduct fogging activities in the area, and also remove any standing water puddles that encourage mosquito breeding.
Alertness is key to preventing dengue, and even treating it. Whenever you notice mosquitoes hovering in the house, simply spray them with a good mosquito killing spray like Mortein. This will keep your house safe and protected from the menace of vector-borne diseases.