Dengue fever is a disease that is spread by a special kind of mosquito, which is found in clean water. After having been bitten by mosquitoes, which carry the dengue poison, a period of three to six days elapses before the disease develops. The attack is usually sudden. There is first a feeling of chilliness, followed by severe pain in some parts of the body, such as the limbs, back or head. There is always a splitting headache, most server in the frontal region and back of the eyes. The eyes become red and watery. The temperature rises rapidly from 103 to 105 degree Fahrenheit. There is no appetite. Nausea and vomiting are not uncommon. In children, convulsions and delirium are common. One the third day the temperature usually falls, accompanied by profuse perspiration, the passage of much urine and sometimes violent diarrhea. After this the patient feels well for a day or two, then the pain come on again, and the temperature comes up. A rash may appear on the arms, trunk and legs. This second rise of temperature usually lasts but a short time, and then goes down to normal.
A dengue fever patient should be kept in bed and protected day and night by a mosquito-net to prevent mosquitoes from biting him and transmitting the disease to others. Restrict the diet to rice-gruel, soft-boiled eggs and fruit. At the outset, give a dose of castor-oil or Epsom salts. Apply cold cloths or ice to the head to relieve the headache. Give the patient cool boiled water and fruit juices or lemonade to drink. Apply formentations to the painful parts.
To prevent the disease, it is only necessary to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. This can be done by covering your clean water bowls.
Formentation is an other treatment which can be given to the patient, in the following manner:-
Select a piece of blanket or flannel large enough to fit over the chest or back. Fold it into a pack, dip it in very hot water, and wring it out as dry as possible. Wrap this in a dry towel, or other material thick enough to protect the skin, and apply the whole pack to the area to be treated. This is know as a formentation.
Leave the hot pack in place for ten or fifteen minutes, or until it is cool. Then rub the area with a small piece of ice or a cold cloth and dry the skin with a rough Turkish towel. The pack, or formention, may be reapplied several times, as desired. Follow this with some massage or heavy rubbing. While treating the patient with a chest cold, first apply the formentation to the back, and then later treat the chest. At the end of this treatment, wipe the skin dry and apply some soothing lotion.