01/6What is this new dengue strain everyone’s talking about?
The new dengue strain in discussion is the DENV 2 strain or the D2 strain. This strain of the virus is spreading rapidly and has become a serious concern for health experts. As per reports, nearly one-third of the samples obtained in Delhi-NCR have the D2 strain of the dengue virus. Dengue virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes, especially the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
02/6D2 is the most dangerous dengue strain
D2, the evolved strain of the dengue virus, is said to be far more severe and dangerous than the other strains. Dengue has four major strains– DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4. One important thing about dengue and immunity is that infection with one strain will provide immunity against that particular strain only. “Although all four serotypes are antigenically similar, they are different enough to elicit cross-protection for only a few months after infection by any one of them. Secondary infection with another serotype or multiple infections with different serotypes leads to severe form of dengue,” WHO explains.
03/6D2 strain is the dominant strain in the country currently
A multi-institutional study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has found that cases of dengue – a mosquito-borne viral disease – have steadily increased in the last 50 years, predominantly in the Southeast Asian countries and D2 strain has become the dominant strain in recent years. Until 2012, D1 and D3 were the dominant strains, and D4, which is said to be the less infectious strain, has been spreading rapidly recently. The study published in PLoS Pathogens examined all available (408) genetic sequences of Indian dengue strains from infected patients collected between the years 1956 and 2018 by others as well as the team themselves.
04/6Symptoms associated with D2 strain
The common symptoms seen in those infected with the D2 strain of the virus are a sudden drop in platelet count, a higher risk of dengue hemorrhagic fever, high fever, headache, pain behind the eyes, pain in the joints, vomiting, nausea, and rashes. Apart from these signs, if you experience restlessness, thirst, weakness, have bleeding gums or nose, and feel cold you should not delay and visit a doctor at the earliest.
05/6Dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF)
06/6Prevention and control tips
While medical intervention is required once the symptoms show, the risk of infection can be avoided with hygiene practices. If there are dengue cases in your area, which means the carrier mosquito is around, wear full-sleeve clothes and use mosquito nets while sleeping. Use good quality mosquito repellants in your home. Dengue can get severe if the signs are ignored. WHO recommends drinking plenty of fluids, using acetaminophen (paracetamol) for pain, and avoiding non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen and aspirin.
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