It was June 2016. Pia Mehta was very excited about school reopening and meeting all her friends after a long summer vacation. She was entering grade 3 now. Her mom, Shruti, had made sure that everything was in place for her first day at school. After a few hugs and kisses, she finally left for school. An uneventful month passed.
As July came, Pia started feeling unwell. She had fever and some other non specific symptoms. After taking medicines for three days, the fever subsided. But then, Pia started feeling drowsy and developed breathing problems and she also started bleeding from the nose. They rushed her to the hospital and she was kept in the ICU. After doing multiple tests, it was confirmed that she had suffered from a severe form of dengue.
Her condition was the same on the 1st day of the ICU stay, and it started deteriorating by day 2. She had to be kept on the ventilator. Shruti and her husband Aakash were shattered on hearing that and so were the other family members. Shruti started getting all sorts of thoughts in her mind like what if they lost her. Being put on a ventilator is usually associated with a poor outcome and it was natural for them to think like that.
However, after about another 48 hours, with the continuous efforts of the doctors and the family’s constant prayers, Pia’s condition started improving. And in another 2 days, she was off the ventilator and was discharged home after 7 days. But those ten days in the hospital were a nightmare for the entire Mehta family. It was a very ugly monsoon for them. They had never even imagined that such a thing could happen to Pia who was always a healthy and cheerful girl.
But dengue fever can affect anyone. It’s severity ranges from a mild fever to a severe one that requires intensive care. The severity depends on the type of the virus and the immunity of the individual. It is caused by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito and it is more common in the monsoons.
The Monsoon season is an eagerly awaited one. Not only does it bring respite from the scorching heat, but also the changes in the scenery are wonderful for the eyes. But along with this, it also brings with it hordes of illnesses like malaria, typhoid, leptospirosis and dengue amongst others.
So this year, as we welcome the monsoons, let us make some simple changes in our way of living and try to protect our families from these illnesses. For example,
- Use mosquito repellant and protective clothing when outdoors.
- Use insecticide sprays indoors.
- Prevent collections of water in and around our houses which are breeding grounds for these mosquitoes.
- Avoid street foods for food and water borne illnesses like typhoid.
- At home, keep all eatables always covered to protect them from contamination by flies that may cause typhoid.
A few simple steps can go a long way in protecting ourselves. Let us make the monsoon season a memorable one for our families rather than an ugly one.
As it is rightly said, “Prevention is better than cure!”
Pic Courtesy: Google images
Author’s note: This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform.