Dengue Fever - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that is caused by one of four types of dengue viruses.


What causes dengue?

Dengue fever can be caused by four different types of dengue viruses belonging to the family-Flaviviridae.


How is dengue transmitted?

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito of Aedes species. They are commonly found in the tropical and subtropical areas of the world. When a mosquito bites an infected person, it carries the infection and transmits it to another person through a mosquito bite.


Symptoms of dengue fever:

The symptoms of dengue fever include:


  • High-grade fever

  • Rash

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting severe headache

  • Muscle aches

  • Severe joint pain

  • Pain behind the eyes


Complications of dengue:


Dengue hemorrhagic fever:


One of the most feared complications of dengue is dengue hemorrhagic fever, a condition in which the patient starts to bleed. It usually occurs during the recovery time.


The signs and symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever include:


  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Restlessness

  • Vomiting

  • Nosebleed

  • Cold skin

  • Bruising under the skin

  • Vomiting along with blood

  • Bleeding from gums

  • Feeble pulse

  • Rapid breathing


Shock: This is when the patient’s blood pressure starts to drop. Since the blood vessels become leaky and plasma starts to leak from the vessels, shock can develop in dengue hemorrhagic fever.


Organ damage: Low blood pressure causes low amounts of blood to reach the organs which can cause damage to multiple organs such as the brain, heart, liver, etc.


Death: dengue hemorrhagic fever, if not treated on time, death can ensue due to low blood pressure and organ damage.



Treatment of dengue fever:

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. It is generally aimed at providing symptomatic relief to the patient by doing the following:


  • Resting

  • Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids

  • Taking acetaminophen/paracetamol for pain relief


Prevention of dengue:


In some areas of the world, vaccination is used to prevent dengue fever from occurring, but it is not very effective. The best way to protect yourself from dengue lies in preventing yourself from a mosquito bite.


Prevention from a mosquito bite:

The following strategies may help in protecting you from mosquito bite:


Removing stagnant water: Mosquitoes that transmit dengue lay their eggs in clean and stagnant water. Therefore, it is important to remove items where water is staying such as vases, buckets, pools, etc. 


Using larvicides: In sources of stagnant water that will not be used for drinking and cannot be removed or covered, larvicide can be used to kill mosquito larvae.


Using insecticides: to kill adult mosquitoes, you can spray an insecticide in and out of your home. Mosquitoes like to reside in dark and humid places such as behind the cupboard or under the sink. Make sure to spray a mosquito killer in dark areas where mosquitoes can hide.


Preventing mosquitoes from getting in: Make sure the windows of your house are closed, and there is proper netting to avoid entry of any mosquitoes in your house. Make sure there are no holes in the doors and windows from which mosquitoes can enter.


Wearing full clothing: when going outdoors, it is important to cover yourself properly. Wear long sleeves and tuck your pant in your socks to avoid any mosquito bites.


Apply a mosquito repellent: When going outdoors, apply a mosquito repellent lotion to keep mosquitoes away.


Conclusion:


Dengue is a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Therefore, mosquito control can help a great deal in preventing the disease. Most people recover in around seven days. However, it may get complicated. Dengue hemorrhagic fever can also be treated if the patient is treated on time. Timely medical assistance is crucial in treating dengue. If you notice any signs and symptoms of dengue, seek medical help.


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