All about Dengue
General Physician, Gurgaon
6 years experience
Dengue (deng-gey) fever is a mosquito-borne disease that occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Mild dengue fever causes high fever, rash, and muscle and joint pain. A severe form of dengue fever, also called dengue hemorrhagic fever, can cause severe bleeding, a sudden drop in blood pressure (shock) and death.
Millions of cases of dengue infection occur worldwide each year. Dengue fever is most common in southeast asia and the western pacific islands, but the disease has been increasing rapidly in latin america and the caribbean.
Researchers are working on dengue fever vaccines. For now the best prevention is to reduce mosquito habitat in areas where dengue fever is common.
Many people, especially children and teens, may experience no signs or symptoms during a mild case of dengue fever. When symptoms do occur, they usually begin four to 10 days after you are bitten by an infected mosquito. Signs and symptoms of dengue fever most commonly include:
Fever, as high as 106 f (41 c)
Muscle, bone and joint pain
Pain behind your eyes
You might also experience:
Nausea and vomiting
Rarely, minor bleeding from your gums or nose
Most people recover within a week or so. In some cases, symptoms worsen and can become life-threatening. Blood vessels often become damaged and leaky. And the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your bloodstream drops. This can cause:
Bleeding from your nose and mouth
Severe abdominal pain
Bleeding under the skin, which might look like bruising
Problems with your lungs, liver and heart
If you are living or traveling in tropical areas where dengue fever is common, these tips may help reduce your risk of mosquito bites:
Stay in air-conditioned or well-screened housing. It's particularly important to keep mosquitoes out at night.
Reschedule outdoor activities. Avoid being outdoors at dawn, dusk and early evening, when more mosquitoes are out.
Wear protective clothing. When you go into mosquito-infested areas, wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks and shoes.
Use mosquito repellent. Permethrin can be applied to your clothing, shoes, camping gear and bed netting. You can also buy clothing made with permethrin already in it. For your skin, use a repellent containing at least a 10 percent concentration of deet.
Reduce mosquito habitat. The mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus typically live in and around houses, breeding in standing water that can collect in such things as used automobile tires. Reduce the breeding habitat to lower mosquito populations.
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