1.What is Dengue?
Dengue spelled as ‘DENgee’ is a disease caused due to one of the four dengue viruses. The virus that spreads dengue is related to the virus that causes West Nile infection and yellow fever. Dengue fever is caused by an infected Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus mosquitoes. A person can be infected by all 4 of the viruses but once you are infected by any one of them, the body develops immunity against it. Dengue does not spread from one person to another. Dengue fever treatment is effective if early diagnosis is made.
Dengue Fever Symptoms
If you have dengue fever, then the symptoms begin to show in about 4 to 7 days after getting infected. Sometimes the symptoms are mild and hence it usually looks like the flu or infection. In other cases, the signs of dengue fever last for up to 10 days. It includes
- High fever, sometimes it can reach 106-degree Fahrenheit
- Severe headache and muscle pain
- Severe joint pain
- Swelling in the lymph glands
- Dengue rashes, bruising of the skin
- Bleeding from gums or nose
- Febrile convulsions
- Pain behind the eyes
People who have not been infected earlier or young children have milder symptoms and may only have dengue rashes compared to adults. If the symptoms get severe, it can lead to hemorrhagic fever which causes high fever, projectile vomiting, blood vessel damage, and circulatory system damage.
2.Who is at Risk?
Some of the risk factors of dengue are:
- Traveling or living in a region where the infection is endemic.
- Having water-holding objects around the home where mosquitoes can breed.
- Infants, young children, adults who have a high BMI.
- People with diabetes, asthma, and having low immunity.
- The risk for secondary infection. It has been found that people infected with one type of virus has a higher risk of severe disease when contracted other types of this virus.
- Environmental factors like high humidity and heavy rainfall.
- People living in South America, Central America, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and Sub-Saharan Africa have a high likelihood of getting this disease.
3.Dengue Fever Causes
Dengue fever is spread by mosquitoes and there are four dengue viruses that can lead to this infection.
- The Aedes Aegypti and Aedes Albopictus are two of the mosquitoes that are present around the human dwellings that lead to this illness.
- The causes of dengue are infected by a mosquito bite to a human and the virus is transmitted into the blood.
- The virus enters a mosquito when it bites an infected person.
- After the infected mosquito bites a healthy person, it leads to dengue fever. But the body develops immunity to that particular type of virus.
- There are chances of other infections caused by a different dengue virus.
4.How is Dengue Diagnosed?
Doctors diagnose dengue fever when a patient has typical symptoms of emesis, fever, nausea and vomiting, muscle ache, and headache. It is difficult to figure out if it is a viral or a tropical disease as the symptoms are the same.
- Dengue NS1 Antigen: It is one of the blood tests for dengue if the infection is mild and in its earlier stages.
- IgM: This is a test for antibodies in the blood. A dengue doctor recommends this to differentiate between prime and secondary infections.
- IgG: This is a test that is ordered in the later part of the infection as the levels of IgG in the blood rises slowly.
- RNA PCR test: It is used to identify the type of virus.
5.How is Dengue Treated?
Once the tests for dengue fever shows positive for this disease, treatment will be provided. As such, there is no specific treatment for this but when treated in a timely manner it can be cured. Basic treatment for this include:
Medication: Painkillers are prescribed to provide relief from muscle pain, headaches, and joint pains. In case of severe puking, IV drips are given. Skin creams for dengue fever rash.
Hydration: Staying well-hydrated is crucial as the body fluids are lost due to fever and emesis. The patient is advised to take fluids continuously to reduce the chances of dehydration.
If you are experiencing high fever and symptoms of dengue, contact our specialists at Cure.fit, who will perform dengue tests and determine if you have dengue. Based on the severity of the symptoms and the stage of infection they will provide the best treatment and effective cure.
6.How can Dengue be prevented?
There is no dengue vaccine to protect against this infection and the only way is to avoid mosquito bites. Dengue prevention is important so people who are living or traveling in geographical areas can avoid getting bitten. Some preventions to take are:
- Reducing the exposure of skin to mosquitoes. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to cover hands and legs and reduce the chances of a bite.
- Use a mosquito repellent so that it keeps the mosquitoes away.
- Remove stagnant water in and around your house as it breeds mosquitoes. Also, keep all water sources closed.
- Use mosquito nets or traps at night so that it does not bite while asleep.
Use door and window screens to keep the dengue mosquitoes and all other insects out.