Cases of dengue fever in Mali: Similarities to malaria, but not to be confused!

Ibrahima DIA
Prof. S. Dao

Mali has counted 14 suspected cases in commune VI of Bamako district and in the Kalaban-coro health district, including 11 in Yirimadio, 2 in Niamanan and 1 in Banankabougou as of 05 November. Of these suspected cases, 6 tested positive. Arrangements were made very quickly to stop the disease. Dengue is transmitted in the same way as malaria, but treatment differs. Doctors are calling for vigilance. To learn more about this disease, we approached Professor Sounkalo Dao, Head of Infectious Diseases at Point G University Hospital Center.

Professor Sounkalo Dao, Head of Infectious Diseases at Chu Point G and UCRC Senior researcher and Principal Investigator, sets the scene: “Dengue fever is an epidemic viral infectious disease transmitted to humans by a mosquito. There are four genotypes that are related, but in terms of molecular biology they are different. This is why we talk about dengue type 1, 2, 3 and 4. Dengue is transmitted neither by food nor by water, even less by simple contact. It is a disease that is transmitted from an infected man to a man not yet infected through the bite of mosquito “.

According to the Professor: “Today no continent, country, city or village and no one is immune to dengue fever because the mosquito that is responsible for the disease has learned to adapt, to live in all continents. It is a disease that was considered a disease of tropical countries. Today, it goes beyond these tropical countries because the mosquito has learned to travel with the means of transport and can lay eggs. The virus is transmitted from the mosquito to its offspring through its eggs, “explains Professor Dao, adding that it is the difficulty they have in eradicating the disease in the mosquito.

According to him, when the virus is in the body of the mosquito, the latter can keep it for 3 to 4 months without dying. The disease does not kill the mosquito. The mosquito does not digest the virus, it stays in its organism for life. And what is even worse: “When the mosquito lays eggs, it transmits the disease to its eggs that will hatch with the mosquitoes children who continue with the disease,” says Professor Sounkalo Dao.According to the head of the department of infectious diseases, this is how the disease has learned to resist and persevere in its reservoir that is the mosquito. “Once this mosquito bites someone wanting to take his blood meal, he will inject the virus into the person’s body and the person will develop the disease in 4 days to a week.”

A fever of sudden appearance accompanied by muscular pains

And how does the dengue fever manifest? The Professor answers: “You have a sudden onset fever of 39 to 40 ° accompanied by intense muscular and articular pain, retro-orbital pain (pain behind the eyes), photophobia (do not like light) , anorexia (lack of appetite) and general fatigue to the point of having difficulty walking and end up waddling at the tips of the feet until weak and unable to work. There are some people who develop tasks in their cheeks, their bodies, reminiscent of measles at times. After 2 to 4 days of these symptoms, the patient has a strong feeling of improving because the fever will drop. It is this period that we call the critical phase because, unfortunately, it is during this period that we have two different evolutions because either the patient will evolve towards the cure or complications will evolve at low noise during this period calm when there is no more fever.

These complications are twofold: bleeding that can come from everywhere, including the nose, mouth, eyes, anus and even when you make an injection, the blood refuses to stop and the shock in children under 14 years of age (when there is no more blood to feed the tissues), “said Prof. Dao. Complications are 1% and deaths 2.5%.

“Antibiotics can not treat dengue fever”

There is a similarity between dengue fever and malaria when we know that they share fever, fatigue and muscle pain together. But the pains of dengue are much stronger and the treatment differs.”There is no cure that goes directly into the body to kill the virus such as malaria. Dengue fever is not a disease that is sensitive to antibiotics, it is a virus. Antibiotics can not treat dengue, “says the head of the department of infectious diseases, adding that it is treated with drugs against signs. He who has a fever is given something against fever.

But how to do prevention? It should be known that the disease is first prevented by individual measures. Let everyone know that dengue fever is a reality, that it is in our environment and that everyone should behave in order to avoid mosquito bites. If this is already, we must strengthen them. While not lying down, avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. This mosquito that transmits the disease usually stings early in the morning and early in the evening. You should wear loose clothing, socks and if possible gloves that cover the whole body to prevent the mosquito finds the opportunity to bite you. If the clothes do not cover the whole body, it is necessary to apply repressive ointments – which are on the market – on the uncovered parts and this makes it possible to repel the mosquitoes which do not sting the exposed parts. Then you have to sleep under an impregnated mosquito net. It is also necessary to clean up the environment by emptying cans, objects that are no longer needed.

Collectively, people have to do patriotic acts by evacuating stagnant sewage with the help of the town hall and everyone sweeps in front of his house.

Appeal of Professor Sounkalo Dao

“When someone now has signs that look like dengue fever, self-medication should be avoided because it has been scientifically recognized that some fever medications can precipitate bleeding in the case of dengue fever. Dengue patients can be advised to drink plenty of water, rest, and go to a health facility to prescribe appropriate medications to treat the symptoms. A treatment that is very important to limit the damage and restore the patient rather than expected, “said Professor Sounkalo Dao, head of infectious diseases.

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