Dengue and Chikungunya are back. And this time, reports suggest that they can be a lot worse than they were last year..
So, it's really important that you get to know these mosquitos borne diseases from inside out, and take all possible preventive steps to safe yourself and your family.
First thing that you need to know about Dengue and Chikungunya is that they both are viral diseases that are transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. And that their symptoms are a lot similar that include high fever, chills, vomiting, and body pain; however, there are key differences between the two as well. Also, simple tests will reveal whether one has got dengue or Chikungunya, and help the doctors effectively treat their patients.
The dengue patient suffers from fever for a couple of days, say three to four days, followed by body pain.
Retro-orbital pain, which is basically pain that you feel behind your eyes, is also common in dengue. In acute cases, the patient can also suffer from decreased urine output, increased bleeding tendencies, as well as respiratory difficulties along with the usual symptoms of this disease.
A Chikungunya patient is more likely to experience excessive body pain or myalgia, as well as swelling in the joints and rashes across the body. Dengue also has body pain as its symptom, but in Chikungunya, it's a lot more severe.
How to keep yourself safe from dengue and Chikungunya? A 9 Step Guide.
- Avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Since there's no vaccine or clear treatment available for dengue and Chikungunya, the best you can do to prevent these diseases is prevent conditions in which these mosquitoes breed.
- Aedes mosquitoes are most active during the early and late hours of the day. So, if possible, avoid staying indoors during this time. But if you have to go outdoors, cover yourself properly.
- Wear clothes that cover you fully. Go for long pants and long-sleeved shirts and t-shirts. If it is hot around, you can probably wear loose cotton clothes. Wearing loose clothes will also ensure that there is a gap between your skin and clothes, and that mosquitoes won't easily be able to bite you.
- Also try wearing light coloured clothes, since mosquitoes get attracted a lot by dark clothes.
- Use mosquito nets at home to protect yourself from mosquito bite.
- Use mosquito repellant lotions and sprays. Apply them on the exposed areas of your body. However, you got to be careful while applying them on your body. Try not to apply them near your eyes or face. Do not also apply the cream to an infant who is less than 2 months old.
- Weak immunity makes you more likely to develop all sorts of diseases and slow down your recovery. It is important to increase your nutritional intakes, especially during dengue and Chikungunya outbreaks. For better results, you can also consider trying natural remedies to strengthen the immune system.
- Do not let water stagnate in your surroundings. A little carelessness on your part will ensure a breeding ground for mosquitoes and your trip to the doctor and days of pain and fever.
- Clean your coolers and flower pots at least once a week. Also ensure that you do not have stuffs lying at your terrace or somewhere in your balcony where rain water can get stored, and provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
8 natural ways to fight dengue and Chikungunya, and keep mosquitoes away from your home and office:
- In India, most of households tend to have Tulsi plants. Get the tulsi plant in case you don't have it. Tulsi provides a lot of health benefits including powering up your immune system and making you less likely to fall prey to dengue and Chikungunya and lots of other diseases and disorders. Boil a handful of tulsi leaves in a cup of water and drink it every day. This will help build a strong immunity, and likely keep you safe from the menace of dengue and Chikungunya.
- Giloy is another herb that helps develop better immune system. Boil its stem and consume the liquid. Giloy not only builds your immunity but also protects you from a lot of infections. Shakti Ras from Amishi Naturals contains Giloy.
- It is also important that you keep the mosquitoes away from your home. And to do that, you can do a couple of things. For example, you can burn camphor with a few drops of neem oil in your home. Just make sure that you close your bedroom or living room for a few minutes to get a mosquito free environment.
- Another thing that you can do to ward off mosquitoes is place garlic bulbs near your windows or doors or from areas from where mosquitoes can enter your home.
- You can also try keeping neem oil soaked cotton balls in your living room or bed room for some time.
- Take some coconut oil and mix it well with a few drops of neem oil. Now apply it gently on your exposed skin, your hand or your feet. The mixture acts like a natural mosquito repellant.
- To get rid of mosquitoes, another home remedy that you can try out is using a combination of ajwain seedsand mustard oiland applying them on a few cardboard pieces. Now take these cardboards and put them near your windows or doors or other positions from where mosquitoes can enter your home.
- You'd be surprised to know that there are a number of plants that act as natural mosquito repellant. You can grow them in your balcony and place them inside your rooms to ensure mosquitoes don't enter your home and transmit dengue and Chikungunya. Plants like feverfew,citronella, catnip and lavender have mosquito repellent properties.
What to do if you or someone in family gets infected with dengue and Chikungunya despite taking all preventive measures:
If the tests have confirmed the presence of dengue or Chikungunya, then you should take following steps to ensure a fast recovery with a lot less pain in your eyes and joints.
- Reach out to your family doctor and take medications that he or she prescribes. It is also important to let your doctor know if you suffer from any other disease or are taking medications for that disease.
- Take enough rest. Call up your office and take a leave for a week or more. Or else, you can do the work from home, if possible. But just do not stress yourself.
- Drink a lot of water. The idea is to supply the body with enough of fluids as the body is more likely to get dehydrated with these diseases. Besides water, you can take natural fruit juices, etc., as well.
- Take a more nutritional diet till you recover. Chikungunya tends to be a lot more painful than dengue. And not eating a healthy diet would mean the immune system won't be able to fight back the disease effectively, and the symptoms will persist for longer days. For faster recovery from these diseases, you can also think about complimenting your diet with herbal products. Herbal products companies like Amishi Naturals have products that help to improve the immune system. Shakti Ras from Amishi Naturals is one such natural immune system booster. Unique combination of natural herbs, formulation designed by expert Ayurvedacharyas.
- Coconut water not only helps keep your body well hydrated, but also takes good care of your liver and helps fight the chikungunya virus. It is one of the best home remedies for those who want to recover fast by detoxifying their livers.
- Dengue as well as Chikungunya can leave you suffer from several join pains that can last from a few days to months. To get relief from the joint pains, you can try applying garlic paste or clove oil with pepper on your joints such as knees and ankles.
- Raw carrots also help in Chikungunya and dengue. Consuming raw carrots improves your immunity, as well as protects from and relives with joint pains and aches. Papaya leaves are also said to be good at increasing the platelets count in our bodies, which tend to go down severely in Chikungunya.
Dengue and Chikungunya should not scare you this year. Be well informed and take accurate measure to curb the menace of mosquitoes in your surroundings, and you will be good. After all prevention is always better than cure.
If you had suffered dengue or Chikungunya last year, you are at a greater chance to have it back again. But that doesn't mean you will fall ill for sure. It only means that you have to be a little more cautious this time. Just practice the preventive measures such as wearing clothes that cover you fully to using mosquito repellant creams to not keep your coolers clean every week or so. And if you get the fever and it doesn't go away in a day or two, immediately seek advice from your doctor. To see whether it's a normal fever or a dengue or Chikungunya, make sure you get yourself tested.