What Is Dengue Fever?
Dengue virus belongs to the Family– Flaviviridae, it has four serotypes that spread by the bite of infected mosquito Aedes and causes Dengue Fever. Dengue fever is commonly known as break-bone fever. Dengue fever occurs mostly in the tropical region worldwide especially in Southeast Asia, Africa, and tropical areas of the pacific ocean and north, central and south America.
Each year, up to 400 million people get infected with dengue. approximately 100 million people get sick from the infection. About 40,000 die from severe dengue.
Causes Of Dengue
- Dengue is caused by one of any four related viruses 1, 2, 3, and 4. (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 & DENV-4) Due to this a person can be infected with a dengue virus as many as four times in his or her lifetime.
- When a mosquito bites an infected person then the virus enters into a mosquito.
- Aedes mosquitoes transmit disease from an infected person to a healthy person and dengue does not spread directly from person to person.
- Once a person recovers, his body makes antibodies against that specific virus, not for three other viruses.
- The mosquito that spread dengue, bite during the day and night.
- These mosquitoes prefer to bite people and live both indoors and outdoors near people.
What Is Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
Severe condition of fever can develop a condition called, “Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever”. It increases when a person can get infected second, third, or fourth time. It has the same symptoms as Dengue Fever. When fever goes down patients can have more serious symptoms e.g, Vomiting, abdominal pain, and problem in breathing. If patients are not treated then it can cause nosebleeds.
Symptoms Of Dengue Fever
The most common symptom of dengue is fever with any of the following:
- Aches and Pains
Symptoms of severe dengue can include:
- Belly pain and tenderness
- Mild to severe vomiting ( 3 times in 24 hours)
- Mild bleeding from nose or gums
- Vomiting blood or blood in stool
- Fatigue, Restless, or Irritability
There are three types of fever a person is prone to, namely mild dengue fever, Dengue hemorrhagic fever, and dengue shock syndrome.
Mild Dengue Fever: Symptoms appears after a week from the bite of a mosquito and include severe or fatal complication.
Dengue Hemorrhagic fever: Symptoms are mild but can gradually worsen within a few days.
Dengue Shock Syndrome: This is a severe form of dengue and can even cause death.
- These are some ways the prevention of Dengue:
- Reduce the chances of the bite of mosquitoes by covering the skin.
- Use mosquito repellent with at least a 10% concentration of diethyltoluamide.
- Maintain personal hygiene by applying hand sanitizer or hand washes soap.
- Aedes mosquito breeds in clean and stagnant water, so keep the water covered at all times.
How is Dengue Treated
To diagnose dengue doctors use specific blood tests that identify dengue virus antibodies in the blood. Prevention is key for a better cure of dengue fever due to no specific treatment of dengue fever.
Is There Dengue Vaccine
- Dengvaxia, a vaccine is licensed and available in some countries for people aged 9-45 years. The W.H.O recommends that the vaccine only be given to a person with confirmed previous dengue virus infection.
- In June 2021 the Advisory Committee On Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the use of Dengvaxia to prevent dengue in children aged 9-16 years.
- Dengvaxia is not approved for use in U.S travelers who are visiting but not living in areas where dengue is endemic.
- Dengue is common in the U.S territories of America Samoa, Puerto Rico and U.S Virgin Island and freely associated states.
Frequently Asked Question
Question- Is dengue contagious from person to person?
Answer- No. dengue is not contagious and cannot be spread merely by person-to-person contact. The dengue virus is carried and transmitted by mosquitoes. If a mosquito bites someone with dengue and then bites another person, the second person can get infected. This is usually how dengue spread and can sometimes become an epidemic.
Question- What can be done to reduce the risk of acquiring dengue?
Answer- Mosquito usually accumulates on stagnant water bodies and these water bodies are the main source of breeding of mosquitos to lay their eggs. Hence to reduce the risk of acquiring dengue.
Question- Is dengue fatal?
Answer- Severe Dengue or dengue hemorrhagic fever can be fatal.
Question- How soon after exposure do symptoms appear?
Answer-The time between the bite of a mosquito carrying the dengue virus and the start of symptoms averages from 4-6 days, with a range of 3-14 days. An infected person cannot spread the infection to other people by direct contact but can be a source of the dengue virus for mosquitoes for about 6 days.
Question- Can people get infected with the dengue virus and not appear ill?
Answer- Yes, there are many people who are infected with a virus and do not suffer from any signs or symptoms of the disease. For every patient with symptoms and signs, there may be four or five-person with either no symptoms or very mild symptoms.
Dengue fever has become a global infection. However diagnosis of dengue via molecular technique has become a new hope, but due to cost and standardization, it is limited. Treatment of dengue via antiviral drugs is under process.
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