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Dengue During Monsoon: Highlighting Neurological Complications

As monsoon rains usher in an increase in mosquito breeding, dengue fever—a mosquito-borne viral illness—escalates significantly. Dr. Praveen Gupta, Principal Director and Chief of Neurology at Fortis Hospital, sheds light on the often-overlooked neurological complications associated with dengue.

"Dengue fever, primarily known for causing flu-like symptoms, can have profound neurological implications," explains Dr. Gupta. The monsoon season creates ideal conditions for the Aedes mosquito, the vector of dengue, to thrive. Stagnant water and higher humidity lead to a spike in dengue cases.

Neurological manifestations of dengue, though less common, include serious conditions such as encephalitis, meningitis, and myelitis. "These conditions occur when the virus crosses the blood-brain barrier, leading to inflammation and infection of the brain and spinal cord," Dr. Gupta notes. Patients with severe dengue may experience headaches, altered mental status, seizures, and even coma. The neurotropic nature of the virus means it can directly infect neural cells, causing damage and inflammation. Additionally, the immune response triggered by the infection can exacerbate these neurological issues, complicating management.

The surge in neurological complications during the monsoon underscores the need for early recognition and intervention. Healthcare systems must be vigilant in monitoring for signs of neurological involvement in dengue patients, especially during peak transmission periods. Dr. Gupta emphasizes the importance of preventive measures such as mosquito control and public awareness campaigns to mitigate the impact of dengue on neurological health during the monsoon season.

"Early detection and intervention are crucial," Dr. Gupta asserts. "By being vigilant and proactive, we can reduce the neurological burden of dengue and protect public health during this vulnerable time."

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