A new dengue strain – DENV 2 strain or the D2 strain of the vector-borne virus is spreading rapidly and has become a serious concern for health experts across Delhi-NCR. According to reports, nearly one-third of the samples obtained in Delhi-NCR have the D2 strain of the dengue virus. Read on to know more about it.

New Delhi: A new dengue strain DENV 2 or the D2 strain has been found spreading rapidly across the Delhi-NCR region becoming a serious concern for health experts.

According to the Times of India, around one-third of the samples obtained in the region have the D2 strain of the dengue virus, transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes, especially the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

D2 is the most dangerous strain
Doctors say the D2 strain is the most virulent, and dangerous than other strains of the vector-borne disease and can lead to fatal hemorrhaging.

According to the National Center for Disease Control, vector Indices in most of the samples are high with the House Index and Container Index, both above 50 per cent.

The other strains of dengue include DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4. Experts say of the four DENV serotypes, an infection contracted by each of these ensures life-long immunity against that particular serotype only. It also means that it is possible to be infected four times by the virus.

“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 infection with different serotypes leads to severe form of dengue,” WHO explains.

According to a study published in the science journal bioRxiv, the risk of developing dengue hemorrhagic fever or DHF is notably higher in patients infected with DENV2 (around 54.8 per cent) when compared to DENV1 (nearly 32.9 per cent).

DHF, doctors say, is the leading cause of death in dengue patients, and internal bleeding and damage to vital organs are its common complications.

D2 variant found in many states
The Indian Institute of Science says the cases have steadily increased in the last 50 years, predominantly in the Southeast Asian countries and the D2 strain has become the dominant strain in recent years.

The study, published in PLoS Pathogens, sais that until 2012, D1 and D3 were the dominant strains and D4, the least infectious strain, has been spreading rapidly recently. The research also examined all the available 400 genetic sequences of Indian dengue strains from infected patients collected between 1956 and 2018 by others as well as the team themselves.

Signs and symptoms
The common signs and symptoms of the D2 strain infection are:

  • Sudden drop in platelet count
  • High to very high fever
  • Headache
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Nauseau and vomiting
  • Skin rashes
  • Weakness and fatigue
  • Bleeding gums
  • Chills

Treatment and prevention
According to health experts, there is no specific treatment for dengue patients and the best way to cure the ailment is the management of symptoms that are associated with the disease.

Doctors say the patients should:

  • Take rest
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Take medicines to bring down fever
  • Medicines to reduce joint pains
  • Practice good hygiene

To prevent the spread of dengue, take the following steps:

  • Wear clothes that cover as much of you body as possible
  • Use mosquito nets if sleeping during the day
  • Install screens on the windows and doors to restrict entry of mosquitoes
  • Use mosquito repellents that contain DEET, Picaridin, or IR3535
  • Make sure to not water stagnant, as it is the breeding ground for the mosquitoes
  • Keep your surroundings clean