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Dengue fever: Symptoms, Causes and Treating

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness that occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world.

Dengue Fever: Symptoms, Causes and Treating

What is Dengue Fever?

Dengue fever is a disease transmitted through mosquitoes in tropical and subtropical areas of the world. Common symptoms of dengue fever are high fever and flu-like symptoms. Meanwhile, severe dengue fever can cause serious bleeding, a sudden drop in blood pressure (shock) and even death.

Millions of cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever infection occur throughout the world every year. Dengue fever occurs most often in Southeast Asia, the western Pacific islands, Latin America and Africa.

But now the disease has spread to new areas, including local outbreaks in Europe and the southern United States.

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid mosquito bites and take steps to reduce mosquito populations.

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

Many people do not experience signs or symptoms of dengue fever. When symptoms do occur, they are often mistaken for another illness, such as the flu.

Usually, dengue fever symptoms will appear four to 10 days after being bitten by a mosquito.

This disease can cause a high fever of up to 40 degrees Celsius. Apart from that, several other symptoms include:

  • Headache.
  • Muscle, bone or joint pain.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Swollen glands.
  • Rash.

So, how many days do the symptoms of dengue fever heal? It can vary from person to person.

Read more here → Time Required to Recover from Dengue Fever.

In some cases, dengue symptoms worsen and can be life-threatening. Other names are severe dengue fever, hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome.

Severe dengue fever occurs when blood vessels become damaged and leak. This condition will cause the number of clot-forming cells (thrombocytes) in the bloodstream to decrease.

This can cause shock, internal bleeding, organ failure and even death.

The warning signs of dengue fever, which is severe and an emergency, can develop quickly.

Warning signs usually begin the first day or two after the fever goes away, including:

  • Severe stomach ache.
  • Constant vomiting.
  • Bleeding from the gums or nose.
  • Blood in urine, stool, or vomit.
  • Bleeding under the skin, which looks like a bruise.
  • Difficult or rapid breathing.
  • Fatigue.
  • Irritability or restlessness.

To find out more about the critical phase of dengue fever, see the explanation here. Get to know more about the acute phase of dengue fever.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience the severe symptoms above for immediate treatment.✔️

Causes of Dengue Fever

One of the four types of dengue virus is the cause of dengue fever.

You cannot get this disease from being around infected people because this disease is transmitted through mosquito bites.

Two mosquitoes that can transmit this virus are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. The two types of mosquitoes that most often spread the dengue virus are generally found in and around residential areas.

When a mosquito bites someone infected with the dengue virus, the virus enters the mosquito.

Then, when an infected mosquito bites another person, the virus enters that person's bloodstream and causes infection until dengue symptoms appear.

After a person recovers from this disease, he will have long-term immunity to the virus that infected him but not to the other three types of dengue fever viruses.

This means you could be infected again by one of the other three types of viruses.

Your risk of getting this disease at a serious level will increase if you get dengue fever for the second, third or fourth time.

Do an examination if you experience symptoms that are suspected to be symptoms of dengue fever. You can order a health check package from your hospital.✔️

Risk Factors

You have a greater risk of developing this disease or more severe symptoms if:

Living or traveling in tropical areas. Because being in tropical and subtropical regions increases the risk of contracting the virus that causes this disease. Particularly high-risk areas include Southeast Asia, western Pacific islands, Latin America and Africa.

Have had dengue fever in the past. Previous infection with the dengue virus can increase the risk of severe symptoms if you get dengue fever again.

Diagnosis of Dengue Fever

Diagnosing dengue symptoms can be difficult because the signs and symptoms are similar to other diseases. Such as chikungunya, Zika virus, malaria and typhoid fever.

The doctor will likely ask about medical and travel history.

Apart from that, the doctor will also take a blood sample to be tested in the laboratory as evidence of infection with one of the dengue viruses.

So, when should you check for dengue fever? Check out the answer here → When does a dengue fever check need to be done? These are the Facts

Also, read about diseases with similar symptoms:

  • Chikungunya
  • Zika virus
  • Malaria
  • Typhoid fever

Complications of Dengue Fever

Severe dengue fever can cause several complications, such as internal bleeding and organ damage.

Blood pressure can also drop to dangerous levels, causing shock. In some cases, severe dengue fever symptoms can also cause death.

Women who experience dengue fever symptoms during pregnancy can spread the virus to their babies during birth.

In addition, babies of mothers affected by the disease during pregnancy have a higher risk of premature birth, low birth weight, or fetal distress.

Prevention of Dengue Fever

The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes that the vaccine itself is not an effective tool for reducing dengue fever in areas where the disease is often endemic.

Preventing mosquito bites and controlling mosquito populations is still the main method for preventing the spread of this disease.

If you live or travel to an area where this disease is common, the following tips can help reduce the risk of mosquito bites:

Use air conditioning or mosquito nets on ventilation and beds. Additionally, mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus are most active from dawn to dusk, but they can also bite at night.

Wear protective clothing when you go to areas with mosquitoes; wear long-sleeved shirts, trousers, socks and shoes.

Use mosquito repellent such as permethrin because you can use them on clothes, shoes, camping gear and mosquito nets. You can also buy clothes made with permethrin already in them. For skin, use a repellent that contains at least a 10 percent concentration of DEET.

Reduce mosquito habitat by covering standing water. Mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus usually live in and around homes, breeding in standing water that can collect in used car tires. You can help reduce the mosquito population by eliminating the habitat where they lay their eggs. At least once a week, empty and clean containers that hold standing water, such as planting containers, pet dishes, and flower vases. Keep the water container closed between cleanings.

Dengue Fever Treatment

Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for dengue fever to treat the symptoms. While recovering, you should drink lots of fluids.

Also, contact your doctor immediately if you have the following signs and symptoms of dehydration:

  • Reduced urination.
  • Little or no tears.
  • Dry mouth or lips.
  • Lethargy or confusion.
  • Cold or clammy extremities.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as acetaminophen can help reduce muscle pain and fever.

However, if you have this disease, you should avoid other types of pain relievers, including aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.

The reason is this pain reliever can increase the risk of bleeding complications.

If you have severe dengue fever, you need:

Intravenous (IV) Fluid and Electrolyte Replacement. With treatment in a hospital by a doctor.

Blood Pressure Monitoring. The doctor will monitor blood pressure regularly and immediately treat it when the condition worsens.

Blood transfusion. This treatment is necessary to replace lost blood if you experience blood loss.

Home Treating For Dengue Fever

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First recipe: Young coconut water, brown rice, soybeans

Ingredients :

  • 85% coconut water (young coconut water)
  • 10% brown rice
  • 5% non-GMO soybeans

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients using a blender or the like,
  2. after that, filter the water
  3. Drink

Consume this recipe 1-2 times a day before meals. Insyaallah, this recipe can help stimulate the immune system and increase blood platelet levels.

References:
Healthy Recipes JSR Hal. 138
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 2022. Dengue.
Web MD. Accessed 2022. Dengue Fever.
World Health Organization. Accessed 2022. Dengue and Severe Dengue.
Mayo Clinic. Accessed 2023. Dengue Fever.

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