I was down with Dengue!

In case you are wondering what happened to this Daddy Blogger for the last 2 weeks. Well, I have been down with Dengue, and that explains my disappearance from the Blog-o-sphere and all Social Media Networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.

The virus has really got me stuck in bed, and the symptoms of high fever, made me too weak to do anything. I really did not get much chance to reply all my emails, and basically, I have been lying in bed like a vegetable.

The extended stay in the hosptial was also due to the strength of the virus, when even a 15min walk downstairs was tiring! This virus is definitely powerful, and can even knock down an elephant if given a chance!


Well, I can heave a sigh of relief today, as I can now find the strength to write a blog post. (Btw, this is the 2nd time that I am down with Dengue, and I got “hit” with dengue a few years ago).

Since this virus is so deadly, the most important question that we Parents ask is: Are our children safe from dengue?

Here are some important facts about Dengue:

Dengue is one of the most common mosquito-borne diseases. It causes a high fever and a rash. Most people with dengue will be ill for about ten days and, with the right treatment, will then recover. Untreated dengue can develop into dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) which can cause bleeding, liver failure, convulsions and even death.

How does dengue spread?

The dengue virus is spread by the female tiger mosquito. These mosquitoes breed in warm, humid weather and in stagnant water. You can minimize the risk of catching dengue by making sure that there are no reserves of water in or around your house that can attract the mosquitoes. Even flower pots or vases that have stagnant water can become mosquito infested. That’s why the government is so “on” about checking our flower pots. Unlike most mosquitoes, dengue causing mosquitoes bite during the day. The number of dengue cases increases during the monsoon season.

What are the symptoms of dengue fever?

Dengue in infants and toddlers usually starts with the symptoms of a viral illness:
  • High Fever or Tem[erature
  • Running nose,
  • Cough
  • Mild skin rash

Older children may have high fever, pain behind the eyes and in the joints and headaches. They may also develop a red and white patchy skin rash. This may be followed by loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and itchiness on the soles of the feet. Most people with dengue feel very weak. This can last for some time after the illness.

What do I do if I think my child has dengue fever?
If your child has a fever, and is accompanied by skin rashes or pain in the joints, contact your doctor immediately. As the symptoms of dengue and chikungunya are similar, your doctor may ask for a blood test to confirm the diagnosis.

There is no cure for dengue! Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs for joint pain and paracetamol for the fever. Make sure your child gets plenty of rest; give him light and nourishing food; and put a wet cloth on his forehead every so often to help bring the fever down. Dengue may last up to 10 days.

How can I reduce the chances of my child picking up dengue?
There is no vaccine against dengue
. The best way to protect your child is to get rid of the mosquitoes that spread the virus. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water. Make sure your house and surrounding areas are free of stagnant water, rotting vegetation and old flower pots, especially in the monsoon season.
You could also:

  • dress your child in long-sleeved clothing and trousers to reduce exposed skin
  • make him wear light-coloured clothes as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours
  • use citronella oil-based creams and sprays or other herbal mosquito repellents
  • use mosquito nets while sleeping
  • if you do not already have them, install mosquito meshes on windows
  • air conditioning also helps keeps mosquitoes at bay

Even if your child has had an attack of dengue, it does not give him immunity against the other three closely related, but distinct dengue viruses.I can definitely vouch for this, as this is the 2nd time that I have been “down” with Dengue.

The Bad News is that dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) usually develops in people who have already had dengue. If you are unfortunate enough to catch Dengue, here are some facts that will help you with the recovery process!

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