Dengue Fever

Updated on 14 December 2013
what is dengue?

It is a tropical disease, usually transmitted by mosquitoes and the common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains and skin rash. There is no vaccine for dengue and the only way to reduce infections is to improve hygiene levels so as to prevent mosquito-bites and prevent mosquitoes from breeding. It’s particularly difficult to create a vaccine because it’s caused by different viruses and there are no animal models available for testing. The disease kills over five thousand Indians every year and is a seasonal threat, particularly during the monsoon seasons.

what are the symptoms of dengue?

Characterized by severe flu-like symptoms, dengue affects infants, children and adults alike and could be fatal. The clinical manifestations of dengue vary with the age of the patient. A person suffering from high fever in the range of 40°C/ 104°F, accompanied by any two of the following symptoms could be suffering from dengue:

  • Severe headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Nausea, Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Rash

Symptoms usually last for 2-7 days. Dengue could progress to severe dengue, a potentially fatal complication, causing leaking of plasma, fluid accumulation, respiratory distress, severe bleeding and organ impairment.

The warning signs to look out for occur 3-7 days after the first symptoms along with a decrease in temperature are:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Rapid breathing
  • Bleeding gums
  • Blood in vomit
  • Fatigue, restlessness

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