What is dengue
Dengue fever also known as break bone fever, is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus.
Dengue viruses are arboviruses. There are four strains of the virus, which are called serotypes, and these are referred to as DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4.
Dengue virus is primarily transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, particularly A. aegypti. Other Aedes species that transmit the disease include A. albopictus, A. polynesiensis and A. scutellaris. These mosquitoes typically bite during the day, particularly in the early morning and in the evening.
Aedes mosquitoes are the carrier of Dengue viruses. These mosquitoes can be easily distinguished as it is larger in size and have black and white stripes on its body, so it is sometimes called tiger mosquitoes. They usually bite during the day time. They breed in artificial accumulation of fresh water, such as broken bottles and tins, flower pots, coconut shell, tree holes and so on.
Signs & symptoms
Dengue fever is the most common of all arthropod born diseases. Dengue viruses are capable of infecting humans, and causing disease. The infection may be:
Symptomatic, which may lead to :
Classical dengue fever
Dengue hemorrhagic fever with shock or
Dengue hemorrhagic fever without shock
Dengue fever or classical dengue fever
It is also known as “Breakbone” fever or acute viral infection. The symptoms of classical dengue fever are as follows:
The onset is sudden with chills and high fever raised from 102 to 105 degree and continued about 3-5 days, intense headache (retro orbital), severe muscle and backbone pain, vomiting, tastelessness, weakness, dry tongue, constipation, reddish eye, and edema on face. The fever lasts for 5-7 days after which the recovery is usually complete. The chance of fatality is very low.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever
It is the severe form of dengue fever caused by infection of double dengue virus. The first infection sensitizes the patient and the second appears to produce immunological catastrophe. The clinical manifestations are:
Fever is of acute onset, continues and lasting for 2-7 days.
Liver enlargement and tenderness. Pain feels at pressure on liver.
Nausea, vomiting and abdomen pain.
Severe pain on whole body especially in backbone and joints.
Bleeding under skin
Bleeding from nose
Blood in vomiting
Blood in stool
Dengue shock syndrome (DSS)
In DSS symptoms of classical dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and shock manifested by rapid and weak pulse with narrowing of the pulse pressure or hypotension, with the presence of cold, clammy skin and restlessness are present.
Several laboratory tests are helpful in diagnosing dengue infection, but only a few identify the virus itself.
Although many infections cause an increase in the white cell blood count, people with dengue fever commonly have a low level of circulating white blood cells.
The clot forming elements in the blood, the platelets, are also characteristically low.
The percentage of the blood comprised of red cells, the hematocrit, is increased due to fluid leakage into the body tissues. Blood sodium levels are often lower than normal, and liver enzyme levels may be increased due to inflammation.
The most commonly performed test to confirm a diagnosis of dengue fever looks for antibodies against the dengue virus in the patient's blood. Although this test can positively identify a dengue infection, antibodies take at least five days to appear in the blood.
How to manage dengue fever
Take large amounts of fluids (water, soup, milk, juice) along with the normal diet.
The patient should take complete rest.
Immediately consult a doctor in the following conditions :
bleeding from the nose or gums;
vomiting with blood;
excessive thirst (dry mouth);
pale, cold or clammy skin;
difficulty in breathing.
Homeopathic treatment & prevention
Homeopathic system of medicine can treat and prevent dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) by immuno modulation of the patients without any side effects and adverse effects.
Homeopathy has been used successfully in the other countries apart from India in the past. The selection of drugs in these cases depends upon the individual response to infection and virulence of the virus. The symptomatology of the patients those who are having dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic are studied to decide about the curative and preventive medicines for any patient as well as epidemic as a whole.
There are about 12 homeopathic medicines. These drugs have been successfully used by various doctors across the globe for its treatment and management.
In 1996 during the epidemic in Delhi Eupatorium perfoliatum was found most effective.
The present epidemic is of two types. One is simple dengue fever (DF) having no mortality, self limiting course and the patient usually recovers within five to seven days. Homeopathic medicines are prescribed only under the supervision of qualified homeopathic doctors.
The second type is dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which is a severe type of infection and can be fatal. It usually develops in patients those who are already sensitized with dengue virus. The high grade fever is usually associated with severe nausea vomiting, abdominal pain and bleeding from nose, gums, blood in vomiting and stools.
This type of dengue fever (DHF) can be treated with homeopathy along with the intensive general management of the patient in form of monitoring of their leucocytes and platelet counts. Remedies can be safely used in every patient along with the general treatment being given by the allopathic doctors.
After studying some of the dengue hemorrhagic patients it appears that homeopathic medicines having hemorrhagic diathesis are most indicated in the present epidemic.
Homeopathic treatment is quite effective not only for dengue fever but also for all other types of fevers like malaria. If the disease has already advanced and hemorrhagic state has set in, there are many homeopathic drugs to stop the hemorrhage, which must be chosen according to symptoms of the individual. Using the same medicine in every case may not be a wise option and might result in failure of the treatment.
There are other home remedies to lower the fever but going by the advice of the doctor should be preferred rather than going for self treatment.
Dengue is a condition of emergency, where the blood counts fall drastically if not treated effectively and immediately.
Prevention with homeopathy
Simple dengue fever (DF): The trends of current symptomatology of the epidemic reveals that some homeopathic remedies can be taken twice daily for three days and subsequently at least two doses a week at the interval of three - four days till the epidemic persist for the prevention of dengue fever.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF): Homeopathic remedies having hemorrhagic diathesis can be given twice a day for three days and two doses a week in all the patients those who have already suffered with the dengue fever and are prone for dengue hemorrhagic fever. Some remedies can also be used alternately to prevent both the types of dengue fever in so far not infected individuals.
Why consider homeopathic treatment?
It is a natural way of treating any disease without side effects.
It is based on nature’s law that is like cures like.
It is a holistic science that is it treats patient as a whole and not particular organ of the body.
It acts not only on physical level but also on mental level of the individual.
Benefits of taking homeopathic medicines
Medicines have no side effects if given according to the symptoms of the patient.
Remedies have no interaction with allopathic medicines so can be taken along with allopathic treatment.
It has a limited role in emergency, but can be of great benefit post emergency.
Treatment can be used as post emergency treatment, where the blood counts have been stabilized. Medicines are very effective in restoring the vitality of a person after such attacks.
Medicines can also be used with conventional therapies, to improve stamina, reduce fever, and improve appetite.
Remedies are safe and can be given to any age group and even to the pregnant women without any side effects; but it is always better if these are used in consultation with the qualified doctor.
How homeopathy helps?
There are remedies which are prescribed for various types of fever that is intermittent, remittent or continuous. Remedies are very effective in decreasing the intensity of fever.
Medicines are helpful in reducing the bodyaches, muscleache, headache and backache.
Remedies are helpful in treating vomiting, constipation and tastelessness.
Treatment helps to improve retro orbital pain.
It helps to prevent hemorrhage from various orifices.
Medicines treat the post viral weakness effectively.
Treatment helps in quick recovery of disease.