Dengue Fever: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
An estimated 400 million dengue infections occur worldwide each year, with about 96 million resulting in illness. Most cases occur in tropical areas of the world.
Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with dengue virus. The mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person with dengue. It can't be spread directly from one person to another person.
Symptoms of Dengue Fever
Symptoms usually begin four to six days after infection and last for upto 10 days, and symptoms may include:Factors that put you at greater risk of developing dengue fever or a more severe form of the disease include:
- Sudden high fever
- Severe headaches
- Pain behind the eyes
- Severe joint and muscle pain
- Skin rash
- Mild bleeding
Treatment for Dengue Fever
There is no specific medicines to treat dengue infection. If you feel you may have dengue fever, use pain relievers and avoid medicines with aspirin, which may worsen bleeding. Drink plenty of fluids.
You should consult doctor or get to hospital to avoid complications.
Risk Factors for Dengue Fever
- Living or traveling in tropical areas. Being in tropical and subtropical areas increases your risk of exposure to the virus that causes dengue fever. Especially high-risk areas are Southeast Asia, the western Pacific islands, Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Prior infection with a dengue fever virus. Previous infection with a dengue fever virus increases your risk of having severe symptoms if you're infected again.
Complications of Dengue FeverIf severe, dengue fever can damage the lungs, liver or heart. Blood pressure can drop to dangerous levels, causing shock and, in some cases, death.
Prevention of Dengue Fever
Currently there is no vaccine to prevent dengue in general population contracting it.
In 2019, the FDA approved a vaccine called Dengvaxia to help prevent the disease from occurring in adolescents aged 9-16 who have already been infected by dengue.
The best way to prevent the disease is to prevent bites by infected mosquitoes.