via The Medical City
June is Dengue Awareness Month – a disease caused by a virus transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Protect your loved ones from dengue by knowing its symptoms. If fever persists for four days, consult your TMC doctor or proceed immediately to the TMC Emergency Department. Our emergency contact numbers are available here: http://bit.ly/
What is Dengue?
Dengue fever can vary from mild to severe; severe forms include dengue shock syndrome and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Patients who develop the most serious forms of dengue fever usually need to be hospitalized.
There are currently no vaccines for dengue fever. The best way to prevent the disease is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes altogether. Although there is no precise treatment for dengue, it is treatable if caught before developing into dengue shock syndrome or dengue hemorrhagic fever.
A study published in Nature (April 2013 issue) showed that there are approximately 390 million people worldwide infected with the dengue virus each year, over three times as many as the World Health Organization’s estimate of up to 100 million.
Fast facts on dengue fever
Here are some key points about dengue fever. More detail and supporting information is in the main article.
- Dengue is transmitted between people by the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which are found throughout the world.
- Around 2.5 billion people, or 40 percent of the world’s population, live in areas where there is a risk of dengue transmission.
- Dengue is endemic in at least 100 countries in Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and the Caribbean.
- Symptoms of infection usually begin 4-7 days after the mosquito bite and typically last 3-10 days.
- If a clinical diagnosis is made early, DHF can be effectively treated using fluid replacement therapy.
Mild dengue fever
Symptoms can appear up to 7 days after the mosquito carrying the virus bites and usually disappear after a week. This form of the disease hardly ever results in serious or fatal complications.
The symptoms of mild dengue fever are:
- aching muscles and joints
- body rash that can disappear and then reappear
- high fever
- intense headache
- pain behind the eyes
- vomiting and feeling nauseous
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF)
Symptoms during onset may be mild, but gradually worsen after a number of days. DHF can result in death if not treated in time. Mild dengue fever symptoms may occur in DHF, as well as the ones listed below:
- bleeding from mouth/gums
- clammy skin
- considerably damaged lymph and blood vessels
- internal bleeding, which can result in black vomit and feces (stools)
- lower number of platelets in blood – these are the cells that help clot the blood
- sensitive stomach
- small blood spots under your skin
- weak pulse
Dengue shock syndrome
This is the worst form of dengue and can also result in death; mild dengue fever symptoms may appear, but others likely to appear are:
- intense stomach pain
- sudden hypotension (fast drop in blood pressure)
- heavy bleeding
- regular vomiting
- blood vessels leaking fluid