Look Out For Vector Borne Diseases This Season


Vector borne diseases are the diseases which are caused by bacteria, virus and parasites and are transmitted through various vectors like mosquitoes, ticks, lice, flea etc. The most common vector borne diseases seen in fever clinics are dengue, malaria, chikungunya and scrub typhus though various other vector borne diseases do occur.

Symptoms vary in various diseases like in malaria, the most common symptoms are fever, headache, vomitings, abdominal pain, muscle pains however several complications may develop leading to bloody stools, anemia, jaundice, seizures, kidney failure, confusion, coma and death. For treatment, antimalarials are given along with supportive measures.

Dengue also has mild symptoms like high fever, headaches, retrorbital pain, muscle and joint pains along with vomitings and rashes. In dengue hemorrhagic fever, patient come with persistent vomiting, bleeding from nose, gums, stools, blood in vomiting, thrombocytopenia and evidence of leaky capillaries. Dengue shock syndrome is the severe form of dengue wherein patients develop hypotension, multiorgan failure and death. For mild fever, hydration and rest remain the mainstay of treatment.

Another vector borne fever seen these days is scrub typhus which is a mite borne disease caused by a bacterium called orientia tsutsugamushi. The symptoms seen are fever, primary rash known as eschar at the site of the bite, lymphadenopathy and gastrointestinal symptoms. In severe cases, patient may develop myocarditis, pneumonitis, encephalitis and death. For treatment of scub typhus, specific antibiotics are given along with supportive measures.

Apart from treating the disease, the mosquito borne diseases can be prevented by simple measures like keeping our surroundings clean, not allowing the water to stagnate, using  mosquito repellents and wearing covered clothes when going to parks or walks. Doors and windows should be screened with fine mesh netting or should be kept closed to avoid letting the mosquitoes in.  In case of any symptoms, one should contact the doctor so that the correct diagnosis can be made and prompt treatment can be initiated to avoid life threatening complications.

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