What is Dengue Fever?
Dengue fever is a potentially deadly mosquito-borne viral infection. It is caused by the dengue virus, which is transmitted through the bites of infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The virus is found in over 100 countries, primarily in tropical and subtropical climates. Dengue is known by many different names including ‘breakbone fever’, ‘dandy fever’, and ‘La Sota’.
Symptoms of Dengue Fever
The symptoms of dengue fever can vary depending on the severity of the infection. Common symptoms can include fever, severe joint and muscle pain (particularly in the legs, arms and back), headache, nausea, and a rash. In severe cases of dengue fever, a person may develop haemorrhagic symptoms such as severe bleeding, severe abdominal pain and breathing difficulty.
Treatment and Prevention of Dengue Fever
Treatment of dengue fever typically involves rest, fluids, pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the fever and joint and muscle pains. In more severe cases, more intensive treatment may be necessary. The best way to prevent dengue fever is to avoid mosquitoes. This can be done by using an insect repellent, wearing long sleeved clothing, and by keeping the environment free from possible places for mosquito breeding such as standing water.
Tips for Emergency Treatment
If you suspect you may have dengue fever, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. In the meantime, here are some tips to help reduce the symptoms:
Ensure You Drink Plenty of Fluids
Drinking plenty of fluids is essential to prevent dehydration. A person with dengue fever may find eating and drinking difficult, so it is important to sip water or juice throughout the day.
Take Pain Relief Medication
Pain relievers such as ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen can be taken to help reduce fever and relieve joint and muscle pain. However, aspirin should be avoided as it has been associated with an increased risk of bleeding.
Keep Mosquito Away
Since dengue fever is caused by the bite of an infected mosquito, it is important to keep mosquitoes away. Make sure doors and windows are properly screened and use an insect repellent when outdoors.
Dengue fever is a potentially life-threatening viral infection caused by a mosquito-borne virus. Symptoms can range from mild fever and muscle pain to severe bleeding and abdominal pain. Treatment typically involves rest, fluids, pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications. The best way to prevent dengue is to avoid mosquitoes. If you suspect you may have dengue fever, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.