Dengue Virus Fever is a disease caused by a type of virus named Flavivirus. This virus has four different sub-types that produce varying manifestations of the disease. Dengue Virus Fever is spread through the bites of infect mosquitoes belonging to the Aedes egypti species. At this juncture, the disease is tropical and endemic in large parts of Latin and South America. Its incidence has recently been on the increase in Asia and India.
1. Dengue Virus Fever: Cause and Pathogenesis
Dengue fever is spread to humans by the bite of the infect Aedes egypti mosquitoes, which live close to human habitations, breed in fresh water, and bite during the day. Besides, the incubation period and the onset of symptoms are often two to seven days. The Aedes mosquitoes are also responsible for the spread of diseases such as Chikungunya virus fever and yellow fever.
2. Dengue Virus Fever: Signs and Symptoms
A large number of infections might be sub-clinical, which means, the patients might not even be aware that they are contracting the disease. The infection typically manifests itself as fever with myalgia or severe body pain. A rash over parts of the body might be associat. The pain is so intense that this sickness has been called break-bone fever. In most cases, the disease has no further progress and the patients spontaneously recover. However, some patients might develop involvement of either of the two dreadful syndromes in dengue – Dengue Hemorraghic Fever (bleeding) or encephalitis (the brain with alter consciousness).
Fatalities are higher among patients who exhibit these complications. Another symptom is a joint pain though there may not be arthritis. Associate symptoms involve a severe headache, photophobia, a rash and pain on palpation of the muscles, and vomiting. These symptoms often last for two to five days, and most patients without complications recover completely. The risk of complications seems to be higher in children, especially the risk of bleeding and DHF. Some patients may also fall into shock, a condition call Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS), which also carries a higher risk of mortality.
3. Dengue Virus Fever: Diagnosis and Investigations
The diagnosis of dengue depends on the clinical presentation, laboratory investigations, and the knowledge of the area in which the patient lives. Blood tests might show a low platelet count and white blood cell count along with an elevation of certain enzymes. Antigen detection is likely. A rise in the antibody titer is a helpful method of diagnosis. Investigations also need to be conduct to rule out other possible causes of fever such as malaria and leptospirosis. If you feel sick after traveling to a tropical region, let your doctor know. This will allow him/her to evaluate the possibility that if your symptoms were cause by a dengue infection.
4. Dengue Virus Fever: Treatment and Prognosis
Treatment is often supportive and symptomatic. Antipyretics, analgesics, and broad-spectrum antibiotics are undertaken during the acute phase to minimize the risk of secondary infection. Blood transfusions are require in cases of bleeding. Shock, if present, needs to be forcefully treat with fluids, oxygen, and close observation. Most patients recover without any sequel. The overall fatality rate with effective treatment is approximate 1%, but this can be higher in children.
There is no particular medicine to deal with dengue infection. If you think you may contract dengue fever, you can use pain relievers with acetaminophen. Always avoid medicines with aspirin since aspirin could worsen bleeding. It is important to rest, drink plenty of fluids, and visit your doctor. If you begin to feel worse in the first 24 hours after the reduction of your fever, you should go to a hospital instantly to be check for complications.
5. Dengue Virus Fever: Prevention
A vaccine is in the last stages of the invention but is still not available for commercial use. The best method of prevention is to control and eliminate mosquito population. This helps reduces the incidence of dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and some other rare fevers that are also spread by the same species of mosquito. Get rid of places where mosquitoes breed. These include old cans, bottles, tires, or flower pots that collect water. Regularly clean outdoor birdbaths and pets’ water dishes.
Besides, it is crucial to avoid being bitten by infect mosquitoes, particularly if you are traveling to or a tropical area.
- If possible, stay away from densely populat residential areas.
- When outdoors, wear gloves, socks, long pants, and long-sleeve shirts.
- When indoors, apply mosquito repellents and use air conditioning if available.
- Make sure door and window screens are secure and free of holes. Use mosquito nets if sleeping areas are not screen or air-condition.
- If you manifest symptoms of dengue, see your doctor immediately.
If someone in your home contracts dengue fever, be especially vigilant to protect yourself and other members from mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that bite the infect patient could transmit the infection to others in your home.
6. Dengue Virus Fever: Travel and Dengue Outbreaks
International travelers’ risk of dengue fever can vary base on transmission in the area and exposure to mosquitoes. You are at higher risk when an outbreak or epidemic is raging. Be careful when your hotel does not have air conditioning or doors and windows with secure, intact screens. Kill any mosquito you see. It is recommend to use repellents containing DEET, IR3535, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus as the active ingredient. Repellent can be apply to the skin and/or clothing. Another option is clothing impregnate with permethrin. Some spatial repellent/insecticide products may assist in reducing the number of mosquito around you.
Dengue Virus Fever: Conclusion
Dengue fever is a viral infection cause by a bite from mosquitoes containing Dengue Fever Virus. The primary form of dengue fever is manifest by a skin rash and a high fever with a severe headache and muscle pain. Other symptoms may involve shaking chills, diarrhea, vomiting, eye pain, and nausea. Secondary forms of the virus are dengue shock syndrome and dengue hemorrhagic fever, whose symptoms may include fever, red spots on the legs, bleeding under the skin, and bleeding from the intestines. Vast cases of dengue fever are report in tropical areas of the world. Dengue Fever Virus can be treat with pain relievers with acetaminophen, by resting and drinking plenty of fluids.
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