Overview – What is it?
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection that is transmitted from one person to another through a mosquito bite. Dengue fever is more prevalent in the tropical and sub-tropical areas.
Some of the symptoms for this disease include sudden fever, severe joint and muscle pain, vomiting and fatigue.
The disease can be diagnosed by carrying out a blood test, however, there is no specific treatment for the virus.
Since there is no vaccine for dengue fever, the best way to treat it is by preventing yourself from getting mosquito bites, especially in tropical areas.
Causes – What causes it?
Dengue fever is caused by any one of the four dengue viruses. The virus is transmitted from an infected person to one who is not infected, through the bite of an Aedes mosquito. The virus is however, not contagious as it cannot be passed from one person to another directly.
Symptoms – What do you feel?
Once a person is infected with the Dengue virus, it may take around 5 to 8 days for the symptoms to start showing. Some of these symptoms include:
- High fever,
- Severe pain in the joints and muscles,
- Low backache,
- Nausea and Vomiting,
- Pain in the back of the eyes,
- Swelling of lymph nodes in the neck and groin,
- Itchy skin rash, and
- Bleeding of the gums or nose bleeding.
Diagnosis – How do you diagnose it?
In some cases, the symptoms may be mild and can be mistaken for those of other conditions such as flu and therefore, getting tested is important for the correct diagnosis.
Dengue fever is diagnosed by having a blood test to check for the virus or for antibodies that indicate the presence of the virus in the body.
Treatment – How do you treat it?
There is no specific medicine for Dengue fever. However, you can take pain relievers that do not contain aspirin. You should also take plenty of fluids, rest and if you start getting worse even after the fever has gone down, get checked for any complications.
Prevention – How do you prevent it?
There is no vaccine for Dengue fever but there are a number of things that you can do to prevent yourself from being bitten by infected mosquitoes. You can:
- If possible, stay away from areas that have a high population of mosquitoes.
- Use mosquito repellents indoors and outdoors.
- Use air conditioners in the house.
- Wear clothing to cover most of your skin when outdoors.
- Ensure that your windows and doors are secure and do not have holes.
- Get rid of places mosquito can breed such as cans or old tyres.