Dengue fever is a painful mosquito-borne disease caused by any one of four closely correlated dengue viruses. It is transmitted by the bite of a female mosquito. The mosquito becomes the carrier when it bites a person with dengue virus in their blood. Diagnosing dengue fever is difficult, because its signs and symptoms can be easily confused with those of other diseases like malaria, leptospirosis and typhoid fever. There is no vaccine for dengue fever prevention. The best way to prevent the disease is to prevent bites by infected mosquitoes. There is no specific medicine for dengue treatment. If one suspects dengue fever, he/she should use pain relievers with acetaminophen and avoid medicines with aspirin, which could worsen bleeding. One should also rest, drink plenty of fluids, and see the doctor. If the symptoms start to worsen in the first 24 hours after the fever goes down, one should get to a hospital immediately to be checked for platelet count. Dengue haemorrhagic fever tends to affect children under 10 years of age. This complication of dengue causes abdominal pain, haemorrhage and circulatory collapse, which can be fatal. Generally people recover within a week, but in some cases, symptoms worsen and can become life threatening. Blood vessels often become damaged and leaky and platelets count in bloodstream drops. This can cause bleeding from nose and mouth, severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting and even bleeding under the skin. In a small proportion of cases, the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue haemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome with occurrence of precariously low blood pressure.
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