Dengue Fever: Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

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Dengue Fever
Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is a disease commonly occurring in tropical and subtropical countries but occurs anywhere I the world. It is transmitted to people through the bite of Aedis aegypti and other species of the Aedes genus mosquitoes. Although anyone is at risk for getting this disease, people with compromised immune systems are more at risk. A person who has gotten dengue fever previously may still get the fever again because there are four dengue virus strains. There is an estimated 100 million cases of dengue fever each year. Dengue fever is also called breakbone fever and dandy fever.

Dengue Fever Symptoms

The incubation period of the virus is typically four days and after this period, the person will begin to feel the symptoms of the virus which include:

  • Sudden, high-grade fever*
  • Widespread skin rash*
  • Severe headache*
  • Intense muscle and joint pain
  • Pain behind the eyes upon movement
  • Low backache
  • Exhaustion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Minor bleeding in the  gums and nose
  • Dengue hemorrhagic fever symptoms:
    • High-grade fever
    • Rashes
    • Headache
    • Bleeding under the skin (which may appear as bruising) (petechiae)
    • Easy bruising
    • Nose and mouth bleeding
    • Black stools

*Composes the dengue triad

Dengue Fever First Aid Management

Because it is a viral disease, there is no antibiotic that can cure this. To treat dengue fever, the symptoms have to be relieved. There are several ways to manage mild cases dengue fever at home. However, for severe dengue cases, one has to be wary for these symptoms as it may lead to shock, and sometimes, death. Immediate medical assistance should be called for. For most people, with apt treatment, symptoms last for a week.

  • Take plenty of rests. Do not engage in rigorous activities.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • To relieve of pain and fever, take acetaminophen. Avoid ibuprofen, aspirin and naproxen as it may lead to bleeding complications.

Ways to Prevent Dengue Fever

Although no vaccine has yet been produced to prevent dengue fever, there are several ways to prevent dengue fever. Some of the tips include:

  • When going outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, shoes, and other protective clothing.
  • Use mosquito repellants.
  • Avoid doing activities at dawn, dusk and early evening. Aedis mosquitoes are known to fly at these times of the day, thus avoid doing outdoor activities.
  • Stay in a well-screened house.
  • Reduce mosquito habitats. Mosquitoes usually lay their eggs in stagnant waters in and around the houses thus removal/ changing of these waters must be done every few days.

Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to inform readers but
should not be taken for medical advice nor substitute for first aid. Take First Aid Courses, especially if one plans to travel to locations where dengue virus is known, to be aware of symptoms and to learn how to properly victims of this disease and other kinds of diseases.

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