Dengue Fever

 Dengue Fever: A Mosquito-borne Disease

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever

A mosquito-borne illness caused by the dengue virus, is a major public health concern worldwide. Hailing from the Flaviviridae family, this virus is primarily transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes, specifically of the species Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.


Dengue fever is prevalent in over 100 countries, with the World Health Organization (WHO) estimating 390 million infections annually. Tropical and sub-tropical climates, such as those found in Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific, the Americas, and Africa, are especially at risk due to the favorable breeding conditions for the carrier mosquitoes.


The time it takes for symptoms to appear after being exposed to the virus, known as the incubation period, varies from four to ten days.

What happens when a person has dengue:

When a person has dengue, they typically experience symptoms such as flu or typhoid high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle pain, rash, and mild bleeding (e.g., nose or gums bleed, easy bruising). In severe cases, the disease can progress to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome, which can be life-threatening.

Dengue fever diagnosis:

Dengue fever is diagnosed through a combination of clinical evaluation and laboratory tests.

During the clinical evaluation, a healthcare professional will assess the patient's symptoms, medical history, and conduct a physical examination. The presence of symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, and rash, along with a history of potential exposure to dengue-carrying mosquitoes, can raise suspicion of dengue.

Laboratory tests are then performed to confirm the diagnosis. The most common diagnostic test is a blood test to detect the presence of dengue virus or antibodies produced in response to the infection. These tests may include polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests, which detect viral genetic material, or serological tests, which detect antibodies against the virus.

It's important to note that early in the disease, the virus may not be detectable in laboratory tests. In such cases, repeat testing may be necessary if symptoms persist.

If you suspect dengue or experience concerning symptoms, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and guidance on managing the illness.

Dengue without fever:

Dengue is a viral disease transmitted primarily by mosquitoes, particularly the Aedes aegypti species. While fever is a hallmark symptom of dengue, the disease can also present without it. In such cases, individuals may experience other common symptoms such as severe headache, joint and muscle pain, rash, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue.


There is no specific antiviral dengue fever treatment. Management of the disease focuses on relieving symptoms and includes rest, fluid intake to prevent dehydration and pain relievers. However, it's important to avoid medicines with aspirin, which could worsen bleeding.


Prevention of Dengue fever is largely dependent on controlling the mosquito population and avoiding mosquito bites. This includes eliminating mosquito breeding sites, such as standing water in buckets, bowls, or flower vases, and personal protection measures like wearing long-sleeved clothing and using insect repellent.


In terms of vaccines, the WHO recommends the Dengvaxia (CYD-TDV) vaccine as part of a comprehensive approach to prevent dengue in individuals aged 9-45 years, living in endemic areas and with a confirmed prior dengue virus infection. However, the vaccine is not a standalone tool and must be incorporated with other preventive measures to effectively combat the disease.


Scientific research is actively ongoing to develop more effective vaccines and antiviral drugs for dengue. For instance, the development of a tetravalent dengue vaccine, which will protect against all four serotypes of the dengue virus, is underway.


A Mosquito-borne Disease

In conclusion, Dengue fever is a pressing global health issue that requires a multifaceted approach to combat. While there are no specific treatments, the key to managing this disease lies in early recognition, symptomatic relief, and rigorous preventive measures. With continued research and global cooperation, it is hoped that more effective and accessible solutions can be found to reduce the burden of this disease.

How long does dengue fever last till:

The duration of dengue fever can vary from person to person. On average, dengue fever typically lasts for about 7 to 10 days. However, the duration can be shorter or longer depending on various factors, including the individual's overall health, immune response, and the specific strain of the dengue virus.


What is the first sign of dengue fever?

The first sign of dengue fever is typically a sudden onset of high fever, often accompanied by severe headache, joint and muscle pain, and a rash.

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