Dengue fever or breakbone fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection that can lead to serious illnesses. The disease is caused by a family of viruses and spread by Aedes mosquitoes.
Countless cases of dengue fever occur worldwide every year. The infection is more common in the Western Pacific Islands, Africa, Latin America, Southeast Asia. But recently, it was discovered that the disease is now spreading to new areas, including the Southern parts of America and some parts of Europe.
Dr Mukesh Mahajan – Doctor in Keshav Nagar,India have put together this piece of information to help you combat this disease and make sure you’re always one step ahead of any situation related to dengue fever.
Symptoms of Dengue fever
- Sever muscle pain and joint pain
- High fever
- Severe headaches
- Skin rash
- Nose bleeding
- Pain behind the eyes
Most people recover in about a week. In few cases, the symptom can worsen into a life-threatening situation. This is called dengue shock syndrome or dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome happens when the blood vessel becomes damaged and leaky. This will reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) which can lead to internal bleeding, organ failure, shock, and even death.
Here are some symptoms of severe dengue fever – these symptoms usually appear on the first day or second day after your fever goes away;
- Continues vomiting
- Blood in your stool, urine, or vomit
- Rapid breathing
- Severe stomach discomfort
- Difficulty in breathing
Preventing Dengue Fever
The best route in preventing this disease is to avoid bites by infected mosquitoes, especially if you traveled to or live in tropical or sub-tropical areas. You should make efforts to protect yourself from being bitten by this mosquito and also take steps in reducing their population in your area.
To protect yourself;
- Use mosquito repellants both indoor and outdoor
- Always make use of air conditioning (if available)
- Particularly for those in tropical and sub-tropical areas, always wear dresses that will cover your whole body when outdoor.
- Ensure that your windows are well covered and free from holes.
- Always use mosquito nets
- If you notice any symptoms of Dengue fever, speak to a doctor immediately.
- Vaccines: Dengue fever vaccine (Dengvaxia) is approved for only does who have a history of dengue fever. People with no history of the infection cannot get the vaccine because it will increase the risk of severe dengue fever infection in the future.
To reduce mosquito population, destroy all mosquito breeding sites. These include all stagnant waters no matter how small, tires, cans, ensure that refuse are properly disposed and the environment is kept clean at all times.
If somebody in your household gets the fever, this shows that infected mosquitoes are around your house. Be more vigilant and take appropriate steps in eradicating mosquitoes around your house.
Breakbone fever is caused by the family of dengue viruses. You cannot get the disease by being around an infected person. Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease and can only be contracted through mosquito bites.
The two types of mosquitoes that often breeds this virus are common amongst us. When a mosquito bites an infected person, the virus enters the mosquito. Then this infected mosquito bites another person, the virus enters the bloodstream of the person and causes an infection.
After you have recovered from the infection, you’ll develop long term immunity to the type of virus that infected you. But not to the other 3 dengue viruses. This means you can get the disease again in the future by any of the three virus types. The risk of severe dengue fever increases when you get the virus for the second time, third time, and fourth time. Severe cases of dengue fever infection can cause internal bleeding and organ failure. Blood pressure can drop to dangerous levels and can lead to death. Pregnant women who got infected can transmit the virus to the baby, and babies of women who got infected during pregnancy is at a higher risk of low birth weight, fetal distress, or pre-term birth.
You should see a doctor as soon as you notice 3 to 4 of these symptoms for proper medical care. There are no special medications for treating dengue fever, the infection is treated asymptomatically, but it is always advisable you don’t self-medicate and ensure you go to a hospital or clinic for proper medical attention if you notice any sets of these symptoms.
This disease should not be taken likely. Dengue fever is known to be the leading cause of death in some Asian countries and should be addressed with utmost urgency and seriousness. According to doctor in Keshav Nagar, this disease can be reduced to the lowest minimum if you adhere to necessary preventive measures.