What is Dengue?

Mosquito bites infect people with the dengue. The symptoms differ from person to person. The illness caused by this can range from something like mild flu to conditions that are severe and life-threatening. The Aedes mosquito, primarily Aedes aegypti, transmits the virus by breeding in standing water found in households and public spaces. Dengue fever affects tropical and subtropical regions. Factors such as → rapid urbanization and insufficient sanitation influence its transmission.

Mosquito Bite

Raising awareness about this disease is crucial to combat the spread of the virus and reduce its burden on individuals and healthcare systems. Dengue prevention measures primarily involve eliminating mosquito breeding sites and protecting oneself from mosquito bites. Getting an early diagnosis and receiving proper medical care can really lower the chances of complications and death.

Dengue Virus and its Transmission

The Dengue virus is part of the Flavivirus genus. It belongs to → the class of single-stranded RNA viruses. This particular type of RNA molecule possesses a solitary, unpaired strand of nucleotides. Humans contract the virus when infected female Aedes mosquitoes, mainly Aedes aegypti, bite them. These mosquitoes breed in stagnant water found in flower vases, buckets, and other containers, which are often present in households and public spaces. Once infected, the mosquito remains infectious for life and can transmit the virus to multiple individuals during its lifespan.

Raising Awareness about Dengue Prevention

Dengue is a significant public health concern in many countries particularly those with a tropical climate. In the past few years → the number of dengue cases has increased significantly affecting around 390 million people worldwide annually. The disease throws a bunch of symptoms at you. Starting with a mild fever and rash and leading up to serious and deadly complications. Such as → Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). Severe and life-threatening complications can arise from dengue fever.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) can potentially cause bleeding, organ failure, and shock, leading to deadly outcomes.

It’s important to raise awareness about preventing and handling the disease to reduce the impact of the disease on people and healthcare systems. Dengue prevention measures primarily involve eliminating mosquito breeding sites and protecting oneself from mosquito bites. Simple measures such as → covering water containers, using mosquito nets, and wearing protective clothing can achieve this. Getting an early diagnosis and receiving proper medical care greatly lowers the chances of complications and death.

Now, we will discuss the symptoms of this disease.

Symptoms of Dengue

Dengue is a viral illness. Mosquitoes mainly spread it, specifically Aedes aegypti. With millions of cases being reported the concern of the public is growing. This disease presents a challenge because its symptoms closely resemble those of other common illnesses, like the flu, making diagnosis difficult.

Symptoms of Dengue

These are the main symptoms of the disease, and this is when they usually happen.

High Fever, Severe Headache, Joint and Muscle Pain

You’ll experience high fever, severe headache, and pain in the joints and muscles. Typically, the first indication of dengue is a high – fever that can go as high as 105°F ( 40.5°C ). People often experience severe headaches, joint pain, and muscle pain, particularly in the lower back and legs. The fever and pain typically last for 2-7 days.

Nausea, Vomiting, and Rash

After a couple of days, dengue may cause some individuals to experience additional symptoms, like feeling nauseous, throwing up, and developing a rash. The rash may appear on the arms, legs, and torso and can be itchy. These symptoms typically last → for 2-5 days.

Duration of Dengue Symptoms

An infected mosquito typically causes dengue symptoms to appear in a person 4-7 days after biting them. The fever and other symptoms usually last for 2-7 days. After this, some people may experience a brief period of feeling better before the symptoms return, often with greater severity. This is known as the critical phase and usually occurs around days 3-7 of the illness. In the critical phase, a few individuals may experience → severe dengue, also called dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). And it can put their lives at risk.

In the next section, we will discuss the diagnosis and treatment of this disease.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Dengue fever symptoms make you experience → a high fever, severe headache, pain in the joints and muscles, and make you feel tired. Which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and a rash on your skin. Sometimes, dengue can become a severe condition called → dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and it has the potential to threaten your life. DHF can make you bleed, organ failure, and put you in a state of shock. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in managing this disease.

Blood Test for Dengue

Blood Tests

Doctors might request a blood test to verify → the existence of the dengue virus and diagnose dengue fever. There are two types of accessible blood tests: one that identifies the virus. And another that detects antibodies generated by the immune system in response to the virus. These tests help determine if the patient is currently infected or has been previously infected.

Relieving Symptoms and Preventing Complications

There is no specific cure for dengue fever. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing complications. Doctors usually tell patients with mild dengue fever to rest and drink lots of fluids.  They even suggest taking over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen to lower fever and ease pain. Patients should steer clear of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs ). These medications help to reduce pain, inflammation, and fever but can increase the risk of bleeding. 

Severe Cases may Require Hospitalization

If the patient develops DHF, they may need to be hospitalized for severe cases of dengue fever. The hospital treatment might involve administering intravenous fluids and electrolytes to ensure the patient’s fluid and electrolyte balance is maintained. Blood transfusions may be necessary if the patient experiences severe bleeding. In rare cases, surgeons may need to perform surgery to repair internal bleeding or remove fluid buildup in the abdomen or chest.

In the next section, we will discuss the prevention of this disease.

Prevention of Dengue

To prevent dengue, we need to take a multi-faceted approach. This involves making efforts to eliminate breeding sites for mosquitoes, wearing protective clothing, and implementing community-wide initiatives to control mosquito populations.

You can take the following steps to prevent the disease:

Eliminating Standing Water

Getting rid of standing water, where mosquitoes breed, is crucial. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, which is why it’s important to eliminate all potential breeding spots in residential areas and communities. This includes emptying and cleaning any containers that can collect water, such as flowerpots, buckets, and discarded tires. Additionally, covering water storage containers and keeping them tightly sealed can prevent mosquitoes from laying their eggs in them.

Wearing Protective Clothing and Using Insect Repellent

People should wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce skin exposure when going outdoors, especially during peak mosquito activity hours. They should also use effective insect-repellent products that contain DEET, picaridin, or other recommended ingredients. We should apply mosquito repellent on our exposed skin, clothing, and sleeping areas as it helps to greatly decrease the chances of getting mosquito bites.

Community-Wide Efforts to Control Mosquito Populations

We all need to work together as a community to control mosquito populations and reduce the spread of dengue fever. Local authorities and health officials can carry out initiatives such as → fogging, spraying, and larvicide treatments to kill mosquitoes and prevent their breeding. In addition, if we educate the public about the significance of preventive measures, like getting rid of breeding sites and wearing protective clothing, it can raise awareness and motivate individuals to take action.

Now, let’s move to the next section, where we will discuss dengue vaccines.

Taking Dengue Vaccine

Dengue Vaccines

Dengue, a viral disease, is putting our public health at risk. While there is no specific treatment for this disease, prevention is critical. To prevent mosquito-related issues, we should mainly rely on using insecticides and wearing protective clothing as our primary means of control measures. However, vaccination is also available and highly recommended for individuals living in or traveling to areas with high dengue transmission.

Two Dengue Vaccines Currently Available

There are currently two dengue vaccines available: Dengvaxia and CYD-TDV. Two vaccines protect against all four serotypes of the dengue virus. Dengvaxia is a live attenuated vaccine, which means it contains weakened forms of the virus. CYD-TDV, on the other hand, is a recombinant vaccine; which means it is made using genetic material from the dengue virus.

Recombinant vaccine is a vaccine type produced by genetically engineering a harmless virus or bacterium to generate a protein that activates the immune system.

Importance of Vaccination

The WHO recommends vaccination for individuals living in or traveling to areas with high dengue transmission. Vaccination is particularly important for individuals, who have previously been infected with this disease, as subsequent infections can be more severe. The vaccines are administered in three doses; with the second and third doses given six and twelve months after the first dose; respectively.

Final Words on Dengue

Dengue is a viral disease that causes severe illness and in some cases even death. The best way we can prevent and try to control dengue is to take preventive measures like → getting rid of mosquito breeding sites, applying mosquito repellents, and wearing protective clothing. It is also crucial to encourage individuals to seek medical attention; if they experience symptoms of this disease.

As a person; it is our responsibility to protect ourselves and our communities from the spread of Dengue. By taking preventive measures, seeking medical attention early, and promoting awareness about the disease, we can reduce the incidence and impact of this disease.

Further Reading

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kayakalp.paramedical · July 3, 2023 at 2:31 pm

Nice article on dengue it is full of information.

Akshay Sharma · June 3, 2023 at 11:55 am

I found the section on the dengue: symptoms, treatment, prevention and vaccines to be quite comprehensive. The article mentioned that symptoms can vary depending on the stage of the disease. Thanks for writing this kind of article.

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