What is Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever?
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a serious, mosquito-borne viral disease associated with severe hemorrhaging, which can lead to shock, severe dehydration and death, if not treated properly. It is caused by the four closely related dengue virus serotypes DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4, found in tropical and subtropical areas around the world. Symptoms can range in severity and may include fever, chills, joint pain, and rash.
Causes of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is caused by one of the four types of dengue virus serotypes, spread by Aedes mosquitoes. Aedes mosquitoes typically breed in standing water, such as old tires, tin cans, and tires that have been sitting in the sun. People become infected when bitten by an infected mosquito.
Symptoms of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
Early symptoms of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever include fever, chills, joint pain, and rash. As the virus progresses, symptoms may become more severe and include repeated vomiting, severe abdominal pain and tenderness, abdominal swelling, and bleeding from the gum, nose, and skin. Severe cases may cause shock, severe dehydration and death.
Diagnosis of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
The diagnosis of DHF should be made promptly and appropriately. A blood sample should be taken to detect the presence of a dengue virus, and the patient should be monitored carefully. If possible, the patient should also be monitored for signs of bleeding.
Treatment of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
Treatment of DHF primarily consists of supportive care to prevent or manage shock and dehydration. Treatment may include fluids, electrolytes, and blood transfusions, as well as medications to reduce fever, relieve pain, and reduce bleeding. In some cases, antibiotics may be needed to prevent or treat secondary bacterial infections.
Prevention of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
The most effective way to prevent DHF is to reduce the number of mosquitoes in areas where the disease is prevalent. This can be accomplished by eliminating standing water, wearing protective clothing when outdoors, and using insect repellents. Vaccines are also available to help protect against infection.
Health Impact of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever can have long-term health impacts, ranging from mild to severe depending on the severity of the infection. Severe cases can result in shock, organ failure, severe dehydration, and death. It is extremely important to seek medical attention immediately if symptoms of DHF are present.