In tropical and sub-tropical countries, dengue is quite common. It is a viral infection that is easily spread by mosquitoes.
What are the symptoms of dengue?
If dengue is suspected, the following symptoms will manifest.
- Elevated temperature as high as 41 degrees C
- Pain behind the eyes
- Muscle, joint and bone pain
It is important to consult a doctor once the individual develops fever or flu-like symptoms within 2 weeks after spending time in an area where dengue is reportedly common.
Causes of dengue
Always bear in mind that dengue is spread by a type of infected mosquito known as the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The infected individual is bitten by a mosquito and then the infected mosquito bites another individual. As the cycle continues, it spreads the condition. Take note that the condition is widespread in countries that has a high population of mosquitoes, especially those that have a warm and humid climate and overcrowded especially in urban centers.
Individuals who spend some time especially during vacations to these countries are likely to pick up the infection. Take note that dengue does not spread by person to person.
How dengue is diagnosed
For those who have travelled to countries where dengue is reported and developed symptoms, it is important to take the individual directly to a doctor to be properly diagnosed.
By simply looking at the individual, the doctor can diagnose the condition and will ask questions regarding the symptoms. The individual must inform the doctor that he/she has been travelling. Both the travel and medical history is taken and he/she will be asked about any exposure to mosquitoes. A blood test is also performed to determine if the dengue virus is present.
Treatment for dengue
Take note that the condition usually clears up on its own in a span of 1-2 weeks. As of now, there are no specific medications that can be used to treat the disease but the symptoms are managed by administering paracetamol. For first aid care, you have to provide the individual plenty of fluids to drink and allow him/her to rest. If you want to learn the appropriate measures to provide for similar conditions, click here.
A small percentage of individuals with dengue develop the serious form of the disease. Severe dengue is considered as a potentially fatal complication that can lead to shock, bleeding and organ damage. Those who develop this complication require hospitalization as a safety precaution.
At the present, there is no vaccine for dengue fever, thus the best way to prevent the infection is to take into consideration the following when travelling to high-risk areas.
- Wearing protective clothing
- Using a mosquito repellant during day and night
Who are at risk for dengue?
Based on statistics, millions of cases of dengue typically occur every year worldwide. In some countries, there are sudden outbreaks where thousands can get infected in just a short span of time. Always bear in mind that anybody can get dengue.