Everything There Is To Know About Dengue Fever
Posted on January 24, 2014 | Author and Reviewed by: Mark Ernest Del Rosario, RPh
In the past two decades, dengue has been identified as one of the most prevalent sicknesses. Just what is it, and how do humans become infected with this crippling disease? In this article, we’ll take a look at everything there is to know about dengue.
What is it?
According to the Mayo Clinic staff, dengue is a disease carried by mosquitoes. It can be passed on to a human’s bloodstream when a mosquito carrying the dengue virus sucks blood from any part of the human body.
Dengue only occurs in tropical and subtropical countries, since mosquitoes cannot live in cold, dry environments. Though the disease is most common in Southeast Asia and the western Pacific islands, it has been spreading rapidly in areas such as Latin America and the Caribbean.
Based on research gathered by WebMD experts, when someone is infected with dengue, he or she immediately goes into a very high fever. Taking paracetamol or other medicine for fever only works temporarily, but the fever always returns and usually clocks at 39 degrees Celsius. Accompanying symptoms also include, skin rash, severe pain in the head and muscles, with possibilities of encountering shaking chills, diarrhea, and vomiting, and extreme fatigue even months after the first few symptoms have set in.
Other forms of dengue fever include “Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever” and “Dengue Shock Syndrome”. This is brought about by an infection of what scientists call type 2 dengue virus. The same experts from WebMD observed that secondary symptoms, aside from the ones mentioned above, appear: fever, bleeding under the skin, red spots on the legs, and bleeding into the intestines. In very extreme cases, a high drop in blood pressure occurs. Sometimes, dengue is powerful enough to even cause death.
An online report done by medical experts noted that dengue fever has many names, including, but not limited to:
• Breakbone Fever
• Dandy Fever
• Seven Day Fever, Dengue Type
How do you know if you were infected?
Since fever is one of the most common reactions of the body to bacterial infections, it is hard to pin down dengue as the cause. One sign to watch out for is if a fever lasts for more than 2 days, like 5 to 7 days. Check also if the fever is high, usually remaining steady at 39 degrees Celsius, or much higher if cases are severe.
One way of checking if dengue is in your system is through a blood platelet count. A significant drop from the normal levels is almost always associated with a dengue infection.
If you are experiencing a sudden high fever, bring up your travel history to the doctor, advises the Mayo Clinic staff. If you recently came from a tropical country, or any of the other areas mentioned above, then that may be an indicator of how you got the dengue.
There is no specific cure for dengue. Most patients are advised to get bed rest and drink lots of fluids. You may take painkillers, but do not take medicine for fever and muscle pain, as they may increase the risk of bleeding, advises WebMD experts.