Dengue fever virus is the leading cause of dengue fever, which is transmit by mosquitoes. It is a problem in many tropical and subtropical areas of the world, including Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, the Indian subcontinent, the Caribbean, Taiwan, and Mexico. We can estimate that around 100 million cases happen each year. Start with a benign course with symptoms such as fever, exhaustion, headache, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and rash. The presence of a headache, fever, and itchy rash (the “dengue triad”) is the character of dengue.
Dengue fever is caus by one of four different viruses called DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. All four viruses are able to cause the complications of dengue shock syndrome and dengue hemorrhagic fever. Infection with one type offers you lifelong immunity to that dengue virus. Nevertheless, the infection does not confer immunity to the other three types, so it is likely to contract dengue fever again.
The incubation period is from three to fourteen days, commonly four to seven days. A mosquito becomes infect after it bites an infect person (an average period of about three to five days). Afterward, it takes eight to twelve days before the mosquito can infect other people.
Dengue fever is not transmit from person to person. It can only be spread by infect mosquitoes. A mosquito contracts the virus after it bites an infect person. It is then effective for the rest of its life and will spread the dengue virus every time it bites somebody. Three different kinds of mosquito are suspect to be dengue carriers are Aedes aegypti, Aedes secularists, and Aedes katherinensis.
If you have suffer from dengue fever formerly, you are still possible to contract it again since there are different types of viruses causing the fever. If you are infect again, you will have a greater risk of developing a harsher form of the disease, e.g. dengue hemorrhagic fever (particularly in children).
Signs and Symptoms
A sudden onset and symptoms may include:
- loss of appetite
- fever for three to seven days
- muscle and joint pain
- skin rash
- vomiting and diarrhea
- an intense headache and pain behind the eyes
- bleeding, usually from the nose or gums.
See a doctor if you think you may catch dengue fever. A GP or healthcare professional will probably be able to diagnose the disease just by looking at you and asking about your symptoms. Early diagnosis is necessary to reduce the risk of complications as well as to avoid further spread of the virus. The healthcare provider will ask about your medical and travel history and do some physical examinations. They may also order a blood test. There are two types of blood tests that can diagnose dengue fever:
- Nucleic acid testing demands one blood test.
- Antibody testing demands two blood tests, three weeks apart.
No specific treatment is available for dengue fever. Medical care will manage the symptoms and decrease the risk of complications while the patient recovers. Most cases of dengue fever resolve within two weeks. During this time, the doctor may advise you to take a rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take medication (e.g. paracetamol) to reduce fever. Treatment for dengue complications may involve intravenous fluids and replacement of lost electrolytes. If you think you may contract dengue fever, use pain relievers with acetaminophen (do not take aspirin since its blood-thinning properties could worsen bleeding). If you start to feel worse in the first 24 hours, you should go to a hospital to be check for complications.
To reduce the mosquito population, eliminate places where mosquitoes can breed, including old tires, bottles, cans, or flower pots that accumulate rain. Regularly change the water in birdbaths and pets’ dishes. If someone in your family gets dengue fever, be especially vigilant to protect yourself and other members from mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that bite the infect person could spread the infection to others in your house.
The best way to avoid dengue fever is to avoid mosquito bites, especially when you are in dengue-prone areas. Here are some suggestions:
Your chances of being bitten are remarkably reduc if you expose as little skin as possible. Be sure to wear hats, socks, long pants/trousers, and long sleeved shirts. For further protection, tuck your pant legs into your socks or shoes.
Avoid wearing scented soaps and perfumes. If possible, stay away from densely populated residential areas.
Certain times of day
Avoid outdoor activity, particularly around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. When indoors, stay in air-conditioned accommodation if available.
If you are camping, apply permethrin to your clothes, shoes, and camping gear. There are clothes that have been treated with permethrin.
Wear mosquito repellent that contains picaridin and the active constituents DEET (N, N-Diethyl-m-toluamide). Reapply frequently and make sure you follow directions on the label.
Use mosquito traps and nets
Studies have prove that the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes is significantly reduced if you use a mosquito net whenever you go to sleep. Untreat nets are less efficient since the mosquito can bite you through the net if you are standing next to it. Besides, even tiny holes in the net are enough for the mosquito to penetrate. Nets that have been equipp with insecticide are much more protective.
Fast Facts on Dengue Fever
- Dengue fever virus has four closely related sterotypes: dengue 1-4.
- Around 40% of the world’s population or 2.5 billion people, live in areas where a risk of dengue transmission is raging.
- Dengue is transmit among people by the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which can be find throughout the world.
- Dengue is endemic in at least 100 nations in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, the Americas, and the Caribbean.
- No vaccine or specific medication is available to treat a dengue infection.
- Prevention is the most important step, and it means avoiding mosquito bites.
- Symptoms of infection typically begin 4-7 days after the mosquito bite and usually last 3-10 days.
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