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Written by Dr Ashwini Konnur,
What is Dengue?
Dengue is a disease caused by viruses transmitted to humans through infected Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes. Dengue is most common in tropical areas such as the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Southern China, Taiwan, The Pacific Islands, Mexico, Africa and Central and South America.
The number of dengue cases has drastically increased in the last few years. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, there are about 390 million cases of dengue fever worldwide, and of the total number of cases, 96 million require medical treatment. India alone saw a doubling up of cases of dengue from 2014 to 2015 with numbers expected to increase in 2016.
When the infected mosquito bites a healthy human, the virus travels in the blood stream of the individual where it multiplies to spread through the whole body. Dengue is not contagious; it doesn’t spread by individual contact directly.
The symptoms of dengue begin usually after three to 14 days of infection. Symptoms of dengue may include a high fever often associated with headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a distinguishing skin rash. Pain in the joints is very instance and thus dengue fever is also called “breakbone fever”. Dengue fever intensity may vary from individuals so treatment options also vary from person to person. There are cases when dengue develops into a life threatening disease known as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome. This is characterized by Haemorrhage (severe bleeding), blood plasma leakage, and an exceptionally low platelet count.
Ayurveda considers Dengue to be Sannipataja Jwara. The pitta and kapha dosha in the body gets aggravated with a slight increase in vata dosha. Since the three doshas are involved in the disease, recovery from dengue takes some time. Some mild symptoms may fade off within 10 days from the day of onset but complete recovery from dengue may take about a months’ time.
There is no specific treatment for dengue in Western medication. The main aim is to keep the body hydrated. In Ayurveda, the treatment aims to increase the immunity of the individual with natural herbal formulations. It offers multiple options to bring the platelet counts to higher level as in Dengue the danger arises with the fall in the platelet counts. Several herbs are also used to maintain the body temperature.
One of the most common treatments for Dengue is the Papaya leaf. Studies have shown that papaya acts like a toxin for the dengue virus and also helps in increasing the platelet counts.
Here under mentioned are some of the remedies that can be useful for treating dengue fever.
Always remember that following a healthy, appropriate diet helps in recovery from dengue fever. One must:
Prevention is better than cure, so it is equally important to take preventive steps to ensure there is no breeding of mosquitoes thereby preventing dengue, malaria and any other mosquito related diseases away.
Caution: The remedies suggested above are good to follow at the earlier stages. If a patient’s platelet count is too low and the body is dehydrated, then it might be necessary to undergo a platelet transfusion to maintain levels. Please ensure you consult a good doctor in time to avoid any complications and for better cure.
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