Dengue fever is a mosquito -borne viral disease which is more common in tropical countries. It is transmitted through the bite of an infected female Aedes Aegypti mosquito. It is caused by the dengue virus which has four distinct serotypes (DEN 1, DEN 2, DEN 3 and DEN 4). If the person is infected by one of these viruses, their body becomes immune to that particular mosquito, but in such scenarios, the chance of becoming infected by the other three types of dengue viruses and developing dengue hemorrhagic fever increases.
Dengue fever has symptoms like high fever, intense headache, pain behind the eyes, low blood pressure, body aches, joint and muscle pains ,loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, blood in stool or urine, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and skin rashes and even mucosal bleeding. In case of severe dengue, the symptoms like abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, and fluid accumulation are visible. Such cases require emergency treatment.
There are ways to Protect oneself from Dengue fever by following the correct diet and simple home remedies.
The best home remedy is to increase the use of Turmeric in food. Turmeric has a component called curcumin whose immunomodulatory function helps in boosting immunity and metabolism thus leading to faster recovery. It can be consumed in warm milk on daily basis before going to bed. One may add some honey to it for taste.
2. Tulsi/Basil Leaves
Prepare a drink by boiling Tulsi/Basil leaves in water and adding some black pepper to it. Consume the drink daily to build immunity. Honey may be added to it for taste. Tulsi combined with black pepper acts as an antibacterial and antimicrobial element that can help eliminate the dengue virus. Tulsi is a natural antioxidant that can prevent the body from free radical damage.
Drink Fenugreek solution two to three times a day. It can be easily prepared by adding a spoon of Fenugreek seeds to a cup of hot water and letting it steep for 5 minutes. Honey may be added for taste. Fenugreek seeds are a great source of Vitamin C, K and high in fiber. Antipyretic properties of Fenugreek seeds help in bringing down the fever. It acts as a sedative to ease pain and promote more restful sleep for patients.
A very well known herbal / home remedy to protect oneself against dengue fever is drinking the juice of Giloy herb, one to two times a day. It is prepared by boiling the stems of the plant. One may boil the leaves or add Giloy extract in the water. It helps in maintaining the metabolic rate, strengthens the immune system and protects the body against infections. Giloy is an antipyretic and hence very effective in reducing chronic fever. Giloy also helps in increasing the blood platelet count.
5. Papaya Leaf Juice
The best home remedy to treat Dengue fever and even to protect oneself is Papaya leaf juice. It can be prepared by crushing some papaya leaves and squeezing its extract or mixing it with some honey or fruit juice. Papaya leaves are rich in Vitamin C, antioxidants and thus helps in boosting the body’s immunity. Papaya leaves also help in improving blood platelet count along with reducing the symptoms of fever like body ache, chills, nausea, fatigue etc. The juice also helps in flushing out the toxins from the body. It is advised to consume two spoons so papaya leaf extracts two to three times a day.
Vegetable juices provide all the basic of human nutrition and should be taken regularly to have a healthy body. It can be prepared using vegetables like carrots, cucumber, and other green leafy vegetables
6. Ginger or Cardamom
It is always good to consume natural herbal teas especially those made from ginger or cardamom.
Always opt for fresh fruits and vegetables like oranges or orange juice, lemons or lemon juice, kiwi or kiwi juice, apple or apple juice, guava or guava juice, strawberries, and coconut water. Fruits are a good source of Vitamin C which is the single most important nutrient for the immune system and essential for the formation of adrenal hormones.
7. Goat Milk
Pre-boiled Goat milk is a good option to protect against Dengue fever. Goat milk is rich in selenium and is known to increase the blood platelet count naturally and significantly.
The diet should include Protein Rich foods like milk, eggs, fish and chicken. Consuming Porridge is very beneficial for those fighting with Dengue Fever.
Avoid oily foods as much as possible.
Simple tips to protect oneself from Dengue Fever are:
Dengue doesn’t spread from person to person and can be prevented by keeping the surroundings clean. The dengue mosquito usually attacks during the day (mostly during sunrise and sunset hours) and there bite is always below the elbows or knees.
Use mosquito repellents even when you are indoors, also use air conditioning to avoid mosquitos. . It is important to make sure that there are no holes in the windows and door screens. Mosquito Repellents should be applied to exposed skin only and not under the clothing. One must use mosquito nets while sleeping.
In outdoors, wear long sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks and try to stay away from heavily populated residential areas. Eliminate all possible breeding places for the mosquitoes in the neighborhood. Fill pit holes, cover water containers and septic tanks, ensure that gutters and drains are not clogged and dispose of garbage properly and regularly.
There are certain plants that have mosquito repellant properties like feverfew, citronella, catnip and lavender. These should be planted around the house to keep mosquitoes away.
There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. One needs to take adequate fluids and complete bed rest. The duration of recovery varies from person to person. Most patients recover completely within two weeks.
The dengue patient should remain under some form of protective mosquito netting for long enough to circumvent the risk of spreading the illness.