➤ What is Dengue Fever?:
- A tropical and sub-tropical disease carried by Mosquitoes, Dengue Fever is an epidemic disease showing symptoms of high fever, skin rashes, with muscle and joint aches. A severe form, or Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, causes rapid blood loss, a dangerous drop in blood pressure and ultimately, death.
Dengue Fever 101
Photo Credit: Public Domain ScientificAnimations
➤ Also known as:
- Break Bone Fever.
- Viral Infection.
➤ Medical Specialty:
- Infectious Diseases.
- Dengue Fever is caused by any of the following five Dengue Virus serotypes: DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3, DENV 4, or DENV 5. Transmission to humans is made through mosquito bites. Aedes Aegypti is the known vector of the Dengue Virus. However, it must be noted that Aedes Albopictus was once known to have caused a Dengue epidemic in Hawaii. Others include Aedes Polynesiensis and Aedes Scutellaris. Rarely, Blood Transfusion from an infected person can transmit the virus, as well as with Vertical Transmission (from infected mother to infant at birth).
➤ Likely Symptoms:
• Most people infected with Dengue show no visible symptoms or just exhibit uncomplicated fever.
- Mild Dengue
• Muscular, Skeletal and Joint Pains
• High Fever 41°C (106°F) lasts 2 to 7 days (saddleback nature: on and off fever)
• Pain at the back of your eyes
• Vomiting and Nausea
• Skin Rashes (islands of white in a sea of red description) or Measles-like Rashes
• Petechiae (tiny red spots which remains when skin is pressed)
• Bleeding of Nose and Gums
- Severe Dengue (Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever)
• Abdominal Ache (Ascites)
• Continuous Vomiting
• Breathing Difficulty (Pleural Effusion)
• Bruises (Caused by Bleeding underneath Skin)
• Organ Complications (Lungs, Liver and Heart)
• Hemorrhage resulting to profuse bleeding of Nose and Mouth
• Shock (dengue shock syndrome)
• Low Platelet Count
• Reduced level of Consciousness or Seizures
➤ Pregnancy Risks:
- Miscarriage or Premature Birth may occur.
- Dengue is a global pandemic with as many as half a million people infected annually. It is widespread in SouthEast Asia, Pacific islands, Latin America and the Carribean. Tropical and sub-tropical countries are most likely to suffer from Dengue epidemics.
➤ Should I consult a Physician:
- If you notice any of the common symptoms and you came from a location which must be a mosquito vector region, a visit to the Doctor is a necessary precaution. Early detection and treatment can mean the difference between survival or death of the patient. Persistent high fever, bleeding and bruises need urgent medical attention.
➤ What if the Condition does not improve?:
- Severe Dengue damages your internal organs. Your lungs, liver and/or heart are most likely to be affected. Sudden drop in blood pressure (BP) induces shock and sometimes, death.
- Dengue Fever is difficult to diagnose. It must be differentiated from other diseases like Leptospirosis, Typhoid Fever, Chikungunya or Malaria.
Laboratory tests can help detect Dengue in patients. Unfortunately, test results usually come in late. Management of the disease is the appropriate response to the infection.
➤ Cure or Treatment:
- No Known Cure or Treatment.
- For Mild Dengue
• For Pain – Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
• Fluid Retention – Water
• Rest or Supportive Care
- Prescription Drugs to Avoid:
• Pain Relivers with Blood Thinning capability like Aspirin. Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen (Advil, Alaxan, Motrin IB), and Naproxen Sodium (Aleve)
- For Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
• IV or Fluid Replacement Therapy
• Blood Transfusion
- Patients who survive Dengue infection will most likely be immune to one of the four Dengue viruses. However, the risk factor of suffering from the dangerous DHF increases if you are re-infected.
➤ Risk Factors:
- International travel to the tropics
Living in tropical or sub-tropical regions
- A dengue vaccine was released by Sanofi and was branded as Dengvaxia. The vaccine was said to be only 60% effective. Regular cleaning of surroundings (particularly mosquito breeding areas) with pesticide aid is advised. Remove water from containers, tires or unused buckets which hold water and act as breeding ground for mosquitoes. Citronella and Permethrin gel, patches and creams can help repel mosquito bites. DEET (30%) active ingredient in patches and clothing helps fight mosquitoes.
Dengue Fever Notes
➤ Dengue Tips:
• Mosquitoes Aedes Aegypti are daytime biters. They prefer feeding at dusk and dawn.
• Dengue and DHF presently are the most common mosquito viral ailment in the world
• Male mosquitoes do not feed on blood, only plant nectar. Females feed on blood since they need the proteins for their eggs.
• Female mosquitoes lay their eggs in conducive breeding water reservoirs
• Human or animal emission of carbon dioxide, ammonia, lactic acid, body heat and body odor attracts mosquitoes