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Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever

Definition

Dengue fever is a devastating viral disease carried by mosquitoes. There are four different types of viruses that can cause dengue fever. Dengue fever spread by a certain type of mosquito. It is also called break-bone fever because it sometimes effect severe joint and muscle pain.

History

Every year more than 100 million cases of dengue fever diagnosed all over the world. Dengue fever is start mostly during and shortly after the rainy season. Dengue is found in tropical and sub-tropical climate frequently in urban and semi-urban areas such as:-

  • Africa
  • Southeast Asia andChina
  • India
  • Middle East
  • Caribbean and  Central andSouth America
  • Australiaand the South and Central Pacific

Diffusion of Dengue Virus

The Dengue virus is a part of the virus family Flaviviridae and is transmitted to people through the bite of the mosquitoes Aedes. The two main types of mosquito, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, have been responsible for all cases of dengue transmitted in this country. The virus is then injected into another person when the mosquito injects anticoagulants that prevent blood clotting when the mosquito is feeding. The mosquito remains able to transmit dengue for its entire life.

People get dengue virus infections from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite infected humans, and later transmit infection to other people they bite.

Types of Dengue Fever Viruses

Dengue fever can be caused by any one of four types of dengue virus: DEN-1DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. A person can be infected by at least two, if not all four types at different times during a life span, but only once by the same type.

Signs and symptoms of Dengue Fever

Mild Dengue Fever

Symptoms can appear up to seven days after the mosquito carrying the virus bites, and usually disappear after a week. This form of the disease hardly ever results in serious or fatal complications. The symptoms of mild dengue fever are:

  • Aching muscles and joints
  • Body rash that can disappear and then reappear
  • High fever
  • Intense headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Vomiting and feeling nauseous

Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) –

Symptoms during onset may be mild, but gradually worsen after a number of days. DHF can result in death if not treated in time. Mild dengue fever symptoms may occur in DHF, as well as the ones listed below:

  • Bleeding from your mouth/gums
  • Nosebleeds
  • Clammy skin
  • Considerably damaged lymph and blood vessels
  • Internal bleeding, which can result in black vomit and feces (stools)
  • Lower number of platelets in blood – these are the cells that help clot your blood
  • Sensitive stomach
  • Small blood spots under your skin
  • Weak pulse

Dengue shock syndrome –

 This is the worst form of dengue which can also result in death, again mild dengue fever symptoms may appear, but others likely to appear are:

  • ·         Intense stomach pain
  • ·         Disorientation
  • ·         Sudden hypotension (fast drop in blood pressure)
  • ·         Heavy bleeding
  • ·         Regular vomiting
  • ·         Blood vessels leaking fluid
  • ·         Death

Interestingly, most children infected with dengue virus never develop typical symptoms.

Diagnosis of Dengue Fever

A doctor can diagnose dengue fever by doing a blood test. The test can show whether the blood sample contains dengue virus or antibodies to the virus. In epidemics, dengue is often clinically diagnosed by typical signs and symptoms.

Treatment of Dengue Fever

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever, and most people recover completely within 2 weeks. To help with recovery, health care experts recommend

  • Getting plenty of bed rest.
  • Drinking lots of fluids.
  • Taking medicine to reduce fever.

CDC advises people with dengue fever not to take aspirin. Acetaminophen or other over-the-counter pain-reducing medicines are safe for most people.

Prevention of Dengue Fever

The best way to prevent dengue fever is to take special precautions to avoid contact with mosquitoes. Several dengue vaccines are being developed, but none is likely to be licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the next few years.

When outdoors in an area where dengue fever has been found,

  • Use a mosquito repellant containing DEET.
  • Dress in protective clothing—long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes.
  • Keep unscreened windows and doors closed.
  • Keep window and door screens repaired.
  • Discarded tires.

Note

Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, be sure to use precautions especially during early morning hours before daybreak and in the late afternoon before dark.