Dengue fever is caused by dengue viruses, which are spread through a mosquito species called Aedes. These types of mosquitoes also spread viruses that cause other deadly diseases such as chikungunya, Zika, filariasis, and malaria.
Dengue is also called breakbone fever. A person suffering from this fever feels pain which is similar to the breaking of bones because the patient’s bones and muscles are severely affected. It is a disease that has affected several people across the world in countries like Central America, South America, Africa, China, India, Mexico, and South-East Asia. Dengue is more common in semi-urban and urban areas of the subtropical and tropical areas of the world.
It is one of the most prevalent viral infections in the world with more than 50% percent of the population of the world living in dengue-risk areas. Most of the time, the main cause of illness in those areas is dengue. Due to the dengue virus, around 40 crore people get sick and 40 thousand people die every year. It is not a disease that can be treated easily.
Causes of Dengue
There are four types of dengue viruses that can cause this fever, which are DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. Usually, a person is infected by only one type of virus at a time. But he can get up to 4 types in a lifetime. After recovery from a type of dengue virus, a person is immune to that particular dengue virus, but he or she can be infected again by the other three types of dengue viruses.
Dengue Virus Transmission
An infected mosquito called Aedes causes dengue virus transmission. The virus cannot transfer from one person to another person directly. But it can spread if an Aedes mosquito bites a person after biting an infected person.
Dengue symptoms depend on various factors such as a person’s age, immunity level, and health condition. The most common symptoms are a high fever of up to 105-degree Fahrenheit for four to seven days after the Aedes mosquito has bitten him or her.
Along with high fever, a person is likely to experience at least two of the below-mentioned symptoms:
- Red rashes on the whole body
- Severe Headache
- Pain at the back of the eye
- High fever of up to 105 Fahrenheit
- Severe Muscle Pain and Joint Pain
- Severe Bone Pain
- Swollen Glands
In children, fever with red rashes on the body is a more common symptom. One should visit a doctor as soon as possible if he or she experiences these symptoms.
Sometimes, in certain situations, the dengue virus can cause extremely fatal illnesses such as dengue hemorrhagic fever. In this case, patients will experience bleeding under the skin, gums, and nose due to damaged blood vessels along with other common symptoms. If a person has multiple infections, then he or she is more prone to serious dengue symptoms. You should never neglect these symptoms and should get hospitalized immediately.
Severity Levels of Dengue
- Mild Dengue Fever – Dengue symptoms may start to show one week after getting bitten by the Aedes mosquito. But it can lead to severe complications in the future.
- Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever – In this case, symptoms will be mild in the beginning, but they will become worse over time.
- Dengue Shock Syndrome – This is a fatal variant of dengue that is very dangerous.
How to Prevent Dengue?
If you want to prevent dengue fever, then the best way is to avoid mosquito bites. You can wear light-colored loose clothes that cover most parts of your body. Aedes mosquitos generally bite during the late afternoon or daytime, stay extra cautious during such times.
Here are more tips to prevent dengue:
- You should regularly check your surrounding areas for stagnant water such as in a water cooler. Such standing water is the favorite place for Aedes mosquitos to lay eggs.
- Close all windows to prevent the entry of mosquitoes.
- Wear full-sleeved clothes to prevent mosquito bites.
- Use an insect- or mosquito- repellent spray or cream to keep away mosquitos.
- Maintain personal hygiene. Make sure to keep yourself and surrounding areas hygienic as viruses can easily live in unhygienic areas.
One of the best ways to treat dengue is early detection and immediate medical attention.
- Medicine – Doctors prescribe Paracetamol to bring down the body temperature of dengue patients. If the person has pain in the bones, joints, or muscles, then a pain reliever containing acetaminophen is also given.
- Hydration –Dengue patients need to remain hydrated as they will lose essential fluids from the body due to vomiting and nausea. Sometimes, a saline drip is administered in case of severe dehydration.
- Hygiene Maintenance – The hygiene of the patient is very important. Patients can take a regular sponge bath with Dettol drops in warm water. Their clothes should be washed using a disinfectant to remove germs.
Now that you know a lot of things about dengue, take preventive measures to be safe from this disease. If you happen to notice any symptoms, consult a doctor at the earliest.