Dengue fever is a serious ailment brought about by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. There are 4 forms of dengue viruses capable of causing illness among humans. The condition is quite common in urban areas where outbreaks occur frequently during the rainy season where mosquitoes heavily breed in stagnant water. In some parts of the world, complications of the disease can lead to serious illness and even death among children.
What are the indications of dengue fever?
The indications of dengue fever strikingly resemble the flu. The symptoms might vary in severity and character among different individuals. The symptoms rapidly develop and can be severe such as:
- Rash that arises 3-4 days after the start of fever
- Intense bone and joint pain
- Abrupt high fever
The dengue virus is transmitted between humans via the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes acquire the virus if they bite an infected human. The mosquito carries the virus in its own blood and spreads it when biting other humans.
Once the dengue virus enters the bloodstream, it spreads throughout the body. The symptoms arise in around 8-10 days after being bit by an infected mosquito.
Various risk factors increase the chances of acquiring the disease and even lead to serious complications of dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.
- Residing or travelling to warm sub-tropical and tropical areas including Africa, Central and South America, Southeast Asia, India, China, Middle East, Caribbean, Australia and the Central and South Pacific
- Children in warm sub-tropical areas with previous history of dengue fever
Even today, there is no cure for dengue fever or a vaccine to prevent it. Being hospitalized under intensive care is necessary for those who develop dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. In most healthy individuals who acquire the disease, recovery is achieved within 2 weeks up to a month with the help of the following measures:
- Increased intake of fluids
- Adequate rest
- Medications such as acetaminophen for body aches and fever