By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published July 2, 2014, Last updated October 21, 2016
What is Dengue Fever
Dengue fever is a fever that causes high fever with intense pain in the bones of the body including that of legs, arms and back. The pain is sometimes so intense that patients often describe it as if their bones had been broken. That is why Dengue fever is also known as ‘Break Bone’ fever. It spreads almost every year in the rainy season. The exact onset of this deadly disease may change its timing a little bit here and there depending upon the arrival of the monsoon. As the rains start, the weather becomes hot and humid. Water collects at many places, may it be in ponds, coolers, playgrounds or old tyres. and is a hot spot for breeding of mosquitoes. Dengue virus is spread by the Aedes Egypti mosquito which acts as a vehicle for the spread of the dengue viruses. Heat and humidity are the two preconditions for the spread of the dengue viruses and both are present in ample measure at this time of the year.
Symptoms of Dengue
While all patients are unlikely to report the same set of symptoms, the most commonly reported symptoms of dengue fever are intense fever, bodyaches, headache and backache. The characteristic of the pain is that the pain is intolerable and out of proportion to the other symptoms of the disease. The patients feel that the pain is deep inside the bones and that the bones have been fractured or broken. Sometimes, the pain is felt in the eyes also. Patients lose appetite and don’t feel like eating anything.
Another important symptom of dengue is that it causes the platelet count to fall. Platelets are those cells in the blood that help the blood to clot in case of an injury or bleeding, which prevents further loss of blood. In dengue, the blood platelets can fall considerably and present a danger of spontaneous bleeding from the blood vessels. This is known as Dengue Haemorrhagic fever and is a dangerous condition. The bleeding may manifest as bleeding from mouth, gums, skin, in vomit or with stool. Profuse bleeding can cause the patient to go into a shock, which can even be fatal.
It is easy to prevent this potentially fatal disease if we understand how it spreads. As the mosquito responsible for its spread proliferates in the rainy weather because of the collection of water, all we need to do is to check the collection of water. If the drainage system is working, it will not allow water to collect at a place for a considerable period of time. This will not allow the mosquitoes to proliferate. Some of these measures are to be taken by the civic authorities and are not in the hands of the individual citizens while some other things can be done by individuals within and around their home. One should keep a keen eye on the possible sources of collected water like old tyres or coolers that are out of use, small potholes or dustbins which often are neglected and become a good breeding ground for the mosquitoes. Preventing water from collecting in such places goes a long way in stopping the spread of these mosquitoes. Another thing that helps is the use of the mosquito repellants. Also, wearing full sleeves and keeping the legs covered offers good protection.
Preventive and curative medicines in Homoeopathy
Homeopathy has a lot to offer in the treatment as well as prevention of Dengue. This is the only system of medicine that has a prophylactic to offer against Dengue. Eupatorium Perfoliatum has a unique place in the treatment as well as prophylaxis of dengue. Its symptoms amost completely match the symptoms of dengue fever and therefore can easily cure it. In case of platelet count being low, medicines like Phosphorus, Belladonna and China are quite helpful. At the same time, it must be known that haemorrhagic variety is best handled under the care of an expert doctor.