Dengue Fever: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

DENGUE FEVER

What is Dengue Fever?

Dengue fever is a mosquito-transmitted disease that affects tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. Flu-like symptoms and a high temperature are signs of mild dengue fever. The severe kind of dengue fever, also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever, can result in fatalities as well as significant bleeding, a sharp decrease in blood pressure, and shock. It has a high fever, headache, and joint pain.

Every year, dengue infections affect millions of people globally. Southeast Asia, the western Pacific islands, Latin America, and Africa are where it is most prevalent. Reports of the illness have localized outbreaks in Europe and the southern United States, among other new locations.

Who Does Dengue Fever Affect?

Dengue fever affects individuals residing in tropical and subtropical regions where the Aedes mosquito thrives. Populations in South-East Asia, the Western Pacific, Africa, and the Americas face higher risks due to the favorable climate for mosquito breeding.

How Common is Dengue Fever?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates approximately 390 million dengue infections annually, with nearly half the world’s population at risk. Urbanization, inadequate sanitation, and climate change contribute to the expanding geographical range of the Aedes mosquito, heightening the incidence of dengue fever.

Can You Be Immune to Dengue Fever?

After recovering from dengue, individuals develop immunity to the specific virus strain responsible for their infection. However, this immunity is partial and short-lived, offering no protection against other dengue virus serotypes. Subsequent infections by different serotypes increase the risk of severe dengue, known as dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome.

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

The dengue virus causes a viral infection known as Dengue fever. Symptoms of dengue can vary but typically include a high fever, body aches, and headache. The fever may reach as high as 40°C (104°F). Dengue can also cause rash, chest pain, and vomiting. In severe cases, dengue can be fatal. Prevention of it involves avoiding mosquito bites and using appropriate insect repellents. If you are infected with the dengue virus, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.

Some More Symptoms:

  • aching muscles and joints
  • rash
  • pain behind the eyes
  • nausea and vomiting
  • facial flushing
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • red eyes

What Causes Dengue Fever?

An infected mosquito spreads Dengue, a viral infection. Dengue virus, which belongs to the same virus family as the common cold and flu, causes this disease. It is prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions, but can also occur in temperate zones

There are four types of dengue fever, each with its own set of symptoms. The most common type, dengue hemorrhagic fever, causes severe bleeding episodes that can be life-threatening. Other types include dengue febrile syndrome (DFS), which affects only children and young adults; and dengue shock syndrome (DSS), a fatal form of the disease.

There are two types of dengue fever. An infected Aedes mosquito causes one, while infection with a related virus called Zika fever causes the other, which is deadly. The same “Aedes” mosquito that spreads dengue causes a related fever, chikungunya fever.

Dengue usually occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Symptoms include severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, high fever, and rash. The initial symptoms of this may resemble those of a viral illness such as the common cold or flu. Up to 75% of cases are not diagnosed or misdiagnosed. In the past, outbreaks have resulted in significant mortality.

During the 1970s and 1980s, This was responsible for more than half of all severe cases of dengue in Latin America. Now present in all states in Australia, including the Northern Territory. Mosquito-borne illnesses such as “St. Louis encephalitis” and “West Nile virus”, which have also been detected in Australia, are far more common than dengue cases. The dengue virus is an arthropod-borne, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA virus.

Diagnosing Dengue Fever

Dengue is a very serious and potentially deadly illness caused by the dengue virus. It is a typical tropical disease that is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Dengue can cause high fever, muscle pain, and rash. If left untreated, dengue can lead to severe life-threatening complications such as heart failure, seizures, and even death.

There is no specific treatment for this, but there are vaccines available that can help prevent the disease from becoming serious. Anyone who suspects they may have contracted dengue should consult their doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment. Some people are more likely to develop than others. These include:

Prevention is the best way to avoid dengue and its serious complications. Several dengue virus serotypes have been identified. The titer of the antibodies to these serotypes varies between a person. However, each person may be infected with more than one serotype at a given time.

Treatment for Dengue Fever

This is a viral infection that can be serious, especially for young children and pregnant women. There is no cure for dengue fever, but there are several types of treatment available. Some people may need to take antibiotics to help stop the spread of the virus. Others may need to take painkillers or bed rest to relieve their symptoms. Some people may also need to take fluids and electrolytes intravenously or orally to rehydrate and strengthen their bodies. It is most common in tropical areas of the world, but it can also occur in more temperate climates.

Prevention for Dengue Fever

There is no specific prevention for dengue, but following some basic guidelines can help reduce your chances of getting sick. Avoid mosquito bites and stay indoors during the daytime when mosquitoes are most active. Use an insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. If you are traveling to a place where dengue is common, take precautions against mosquito bites including using a mosquito net and applying insect repellent before leaving home. The best way to avoid contracting the virus is to avoid mosquito exposure in the first place.

Mosquitoes Protection

  • Use Repellents: Apply insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to exposed skin and clothing.
  • Wear Protective Clothing: Dress in long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and closed shoes to minimize exposed skin.
  • Avoid Peak Mosquito Hours: Mosquitoes, especially those carrying dengue, are most active during dawn and dusk. Minimize outdoor activities during these times.
  • Use Mosquito Nets: Sleep under mosquito nets, especially in areas with high mosquito density or if staying outdoors.
  • Eliminate Breeding Sites: Remove or regularly empty any containers or areas with stagnant water, such as flowerpots, gutters, birdbaths, and unused tires, to prevent mosquito breeding.
  • Install Screens and Seal Entry Points: Ensure windows and doors have screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering indoor spaces. Seal any gaps or openings where mosquitoes might enter.
  • Use Mosquito Traps or Zappers: Consider using traps or zappers to reduce mosquito populations in and around your living space.
  • Stay in Air-Conditioned or Screened Areas: Mosquitoes are less likely to enter air-conditioned or screened areas, so spend time in these environments, especially during peak mosquito activity times.
  • Community Efforts: Participate in community-driven mosquito control initiatives, such as neighborhood clean-up campaigns to eliminate breeding sites and reduce mosquito populations collectively.

Types of Dengue Vaccines

  1. CYD-TDV (Dengvaxia): This was the first dengue vaccine approved for use. It’s a live attenuated vaccine developed by Sanofi Pasteur and is intended for individuals aged 9 to 45 years old. It provides protection against all four serotypes of the dengue virus. However, its effectiveness can vary based on an individual’s prior dengue infection history.
  2. Other Vaccine Candidates: Several other vaccine candidates are in different stages of development and testing. These include vaccines developed by various pharmaceutical companies and research institutions. Some aim to improve efficacy and safety compared to existing vaccines.
Note: Recommendations for dengue vaccination can vary depending on factors like age, prior dengue infection history, and the prevalence of dengue in specific regions. Health authorities and healthcare providers typically offer guidance on vaccine use based on these considerations.

Bottom Line

It is a very serious virus that can lead to serious health problems if not treated properly. It is important for people to know how to prevent and treat the disease, and to stay up-to-date on the latest information about it. Infected individuals should take precautions to avoid spreading the virus to others and should seek medical attention if they experience any symptoms of the disease.

Vaccines are available to prevent this disease, so please get vaccinated to help protect yourself and others!

FAQs:

Q. Can Dengue Fever be prevented?
A. Yes, Dengue Fever can be prevented by taking the following precautions:

  1. Wearing protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and pants to prevent mosquito bites
  2. Using mosquito repellents
  3. Sleeping under mosquito nets fev
  4. Removing standing water around the house to prevent mosquito breeding.

Q. Is Dengue Fever contagious?
A. No, It is not contagious. It can only be transmitted through mosquito bites.

Q. Can Dengue Fever be fatal?
A. Yes, It can be fatal, particularly in severe cases. It is important to seek medical attention immediately if you experience any symptoms of Dengue Fever.

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