What is dengue Fever?
Dengue fever also known as break-bone fever, is a mosquito -borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus
What causes dengue?
Dengue is spread by infected mosquitoes – most commonly the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
An infected human is bitten by a mosquito, the infected mosquito then bites another human, and the cycle continues.
The condition is widespread in areas of the world with a high mosquito population and has been spread by the trade in worn car tyres, which collect water where mosquitoes breed. Typically, dengue occurs in areas that have a combination of:
- a warm and humid climate
- overcrowding and major urban centres
Dengue cannot be spread from one person to another.
What are the symptoms of dengue ?
- a high temperature (fever) that can reach as high as 41C (105.8F)
- pain behind the eyes
- bone, muscle and joint pain
- a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measle
What is dengue hemorrhagic fever ?
In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low level of platelet and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.
How is the diagnosis made?
The diagnosis of dengue is typically made clinically, on the basis of reported symptoms and physical examination; this applies especially in endemic areas. However, early disease can be difficult to differentiate from other vital infection. The diagnosis is confirmed by doing blood test.
What is the warning signs?
Worsening abdominal pain, ongoing vomiting, liver enlargement, bleeding, low platelet, swelling in the tissue, restlessness/ lithergy
How do you prevent dengue fever?
There is currently no vaccine for dengue fever, so the best way to prevent catching the infection is to take common sense precautions when travelling in high-risk areas, such as:
- wear protective clothing
- using a mosquito repellent throughout the day
- mosquito net
What is the treatment ?
Dengue usually clears up by itself within around one to two weeks.
There are no specific antiviral for dengue, however maintaining proper fluid balance is important.Treatment depends on the symptoms.
Those who are able to drink, are passing urine, have no “warning signs” and are otherwise healthy can be managed at home with daily follow up and oral rehydration therapy. Those who have other health problems, have “warning signs” or who cannot manage regular follow up should be cared for in hospital.
Those with severe dengue care should be provided in an area where there is access to an intensive care