Dengue fever: Symptoms, treatment, and prevention of Dengue fever

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Dengue fever: Symptoms, treatment, and prevention of Dengue fever
Dengue fever: Symptoms, treatment, and prevention of Dengue fever

New Delhi : The monsoon season comes with dreadful infections like dengue, malaria, cold, flu which are life-threatening illness. And, the most dangerous is the dengue fever which is a mosquito-borne viral infection. For past few years, the cases of dengue have increased considerably, challenging the health care sectors of the country.

Health experts have sub-categorized dengue fever in four stages. Each can infect you only once, but they don't provide full immunity, so you can still become infected by the other subtypes. And, the level of risk increases with each infection.

Mosquito bite cause dengue fever:

The viruses that cause dengue fever are spread by mosquitoes of the species Aedes aegypti, and sometimes by Aedes albopictus. The infection spreads from the same kind of mosquito that spreads the Zika virus and the virus that causes yellow fever.

Aedes mosquitoes are usually found in urban and suburban areas, as they like to breed in man-made containers like tires, flowerpots, and household water. It is believed that the Aedes albopictus mosquitos came from North America and Europe by Asian products like used tires and lucky bamboo. The worst part is that this mosquito is that it can survive subfreezing temperatures, which allows dengue infection to spread to cooler climates.

Risk of Dengue infection:

Record says that before 1970, only nine countries had suffered from severe dengue infection. Now, the disease is widespread in more than 100 countries worldwide. It is said that half of the world's population is at risk for this dreadful disease.

Also, it is estimated that each year, close to 500,000 people with severe dengue require hospitalization. The mortality rate in this group is about 2.5 percent.

Symptoms of dengue fever:

Dengue fever typically develops between 3 and 14 days after the infected mosquito bites the person.  The common symptoms include

  • Fever
  • Headache and pain behind the eyes
  • Severe muscle and joint pains 
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Rash appearing between the second and fifth day of fever
  • Tendency to bleed from the skin or nose
  • Bloody stools or heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Respiratory symptoms, such as a cough, sore throat, or nasal congestion
  • These symptoms usually last for three to seven days, at which point the fever breaks.
  • After the fever breaks, people either start to get better or get much worse, developing severe dengue.
  • Abdominal pain or tenderness
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Lethargy or restlessness
  • Mucosal bleeding, such as bleeding gums or nosebleeds
  • Liver enlargement
  • Fluid accumulation in the lungs or abdomen
  • DHF is a clinical syndrome defined by four key features:
  • Increased permeability of blood vessels, leading to plasma leakage into the surrounding tissues and lack of plasma in the bloodstream
  • Low blood platelet count
  • Fever that lasts for two to seven days
  • Tendency toward severe (hemorrhagic) bleeding

Treatment of dengue fever:

Pain control medicine that doesn’t make bleeding worse may be taken, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen). Intravenous (IV) fluids may be given to help prevent shock, but frequent blood draws and other assessments must be performed to make sure the IV fluids aren't making the person sicker. Dengue fever vaccine, Dengvaxia, may be suggested to patient aged from 9 to 45 in three doses.