Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that’s infectious and causes severe flu-like symptoms. It typically lasts for about one week.
The disease is caused by four different types of dengue viruses (DENV 1–4). DENV 1 is more common in Africa, DENV 2 is more common in Asia, and DENV 3 and DENV 4 are found in Latin America. Both North and South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia have to deal with dengue outbreaks every year. In certain places of Africa and Asia, these outbreaks are more frequent and lead to many deaths every year.
Dengue symptoms can begin to appear within three to 14 days of infection, but usually within five to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The symptoms are similar to other types of viral infections such as influenza or the common cold like fever, headaches, body aches, and pains. However, they can be more severe. People older than 70 years old are at greater risk of getting dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which can result in internal bleeding and death in severe cases.
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Identify the Symptoms
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness that can cause headaches, muscle aches and pain, joint pain, rashes, and fatigue. The disease is spread by the dengue virus and can be treated with rest and fluids.
Dengue fever is caused by a virus called flavivirus spread by infected mosquito bites. Symptoms of dengue include high fever, headache, eye pain or redness, muscle aches, and joint pains. People who have dengue may also experience vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Severe cases of dengue may lead to bleeding from the nose or gums, and blood in urine or stools.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) may be fatal if not treated promptly with hospitalization for intravenous fluids and supportive care.
To get tested for dengue fever, you must first have a physical exam. If the doctor suspects that you have dengue fever, they will refer you to an infectious disease specialist who can do additional testing on your blood sample. The specialist will look at the antibodies in your blood and determine if they are reacting with a specific antigen or protein that is unique to dengue fever.
If you are suspected of having dengue fever but do not show any symptoms of infection, the virus may have already passed through your system without causing any harm. However, if there is some concern that you were infected recently enough to warrant testing, an antibody test may be recommended to rule out infection.
All these tests need to be highly accurate, which is why many testing facilities conduct such tests in cleanrooms. The cleanroom manufacturing industry is growing rapidly at the moment. It had a market value of $3.5 billion in 2021 which is set to reach $5 billion by 2028. More and more health facilities are investing in this market since accurate medical testing is essential for proper treatment.
Seek Necessary Treatment
The treatment for dengue varies and it depends on what types of symptoms show up. If you have just a mild case, you can treat it at home with paracetamol and rest. However, if you have a severe case, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Treatment will help reduce the severity of the illness and prevent complications.
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, take a medical history, and do a physical exam. The doctors will also ask for your blood or urine samples so that they can conduct extensive tests.
The most common form of treatment is rest, plenty of fluids, and acetaminophen to relieve pain and fever (if needed). Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to treat secondary bacterial infections. In rare cases, intravenous fluids may be needed if you have severe dehydration or shock from severe bleeding due to low platelet counts caused by dengue virus infection or its complications.
Dengue fever is spread through mosquito bites, not from person to person. To prevent dengue fever:
- Practice good personal hygiene.
- Use insect repellents on exposed skin, when going outside during the day or at night, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Cover up with long sleeves and pants when outdoors during the day or at night, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Repair broken window screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from entering your house.
In 2021, a total of 1,267,151 dengue cases were recorded in the Americas. Places like Asia and Africa had to deal with similar outbreaks. Dengue fever is a disease that’s often overlooked, but it’s just as deadly as a lot of contagious diseases. Thus, it’s of utmost importance that you are aware of dengue and how you can best deal with it.