Dengue- Causes, symptoms and treatment

Dengue or also known as break bone fever is a mosquito-borne disease that might and might not be severely hazardous for you depending on the severity of symptoms. It is caused due to mosquito bites and leads to a severe flu-illness that can affect any age group.

Dengue outbreaks are quite common in India and are usually on the rise between April’s to November, especially in the northern states.

Since, there is no vaccine present for dengue, the only way to prevent it is by preventing mosquito bites and by reducing the mosquito population. So, people need to be aware of the dengue causes, symptoms and treatment.

Causes:

Dengue is caused, when an infected female mosquito bites (Aedes aegypti) a healthy person and spreads the virus to the healthy person. There are usually four types of viruses that cause dengue fever and are known to be transferred from Monkeys to humans approx. 100-800 years ago (according to CDC).

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are usually found in subtropical or tropical regions of the world such as India and can be usually identified by the typical white marking on legs. It usually gets infected when it bites a person with dengue and then spread the virus by biting healthy people.

Since there are four types of dengue viruses, you might get immune to one type after recovering from dengue once but it doesn’t mean you don’t have any danger of dengue in future as you might get infected by the remaining three types. And getting infected by dengue for the second time can cause severe symptoms and side effects on you.

Symptoms:

One of the best things that can be done during dengue is getting diagnosed as soon as possible, as it saves you from various severe effects of dengue.

Usually, the symptoms of dengue start appearing after 4-10 days of mosquito bite from an infected mosquito and appear to be quite common. The symptoms of dengue are sometimes so common that people usually mistake them for flu.

So, here are some common symptoms of dengue to help you identify the symptoms and diagnose them on time.

  • High fever around 104 ⁰F along with any of the below symptoms
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Irritation or pain behind the eyes
  • Muscle, joint or bone point
  • Rashes
  • Inflammation in glands

It usually takes a week to recover from dengue but if you ignore the symptoms in some cases it can lead to severe blood vessels damage leading to leaky vessels and loss of platelets resulting in dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome. This severe dengue can be really life-threatening for you.

Here are some of the symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever that usually occurs 1-2 after the fever stops.

  • Extreme stomach pain and vomiting
  • Fatigue or restlessness
  • Blood in urine, stools or vomit
  • Bleeding through your gums and nose
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Internal bleeding under the skin that might look like bruises

Treatment:

There is no such specific cure for dengue as it is a virus and usually the treatment is done for the side effects caused by the dengue.

For milder symptoms:

  • When the symptoms are milder the patient is usually advised to remain hydrated by drinking clean water along with rehydration salts to reduce the effects of dehydration caused by the high fever and vomiting.
  • Painkillers and fever-reducing drugs such as Tylenol or paracetamol are also given to reduce symptoms such as pain and fever.

Note that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin are usually not advised during dengue as they might cause internal bleeding.

For severe cases:

  • Drip or intravenous (IV) fluid supplementation is usually needed in the cases where the person isn’t able to take fluids through the mouth.
  • Patients might need to get admitted to the hospital as the individual needs to be properly monitored by the hospital.
  • Blood transfusion might be needed for people with severe dehydration.

Treatment of Dengue might help you to recover from dengue but nothing is better than preventing it before it can take place. The best way to prevent yourself from dengue is by keeping yourself away from mosquitoes. There are various methods that you can use to stay away from these mosquitoes such as using mosquito repellent, mosquito traps and nets, wearing full clothing and keeping your surroundings clean and away from stagnant water.

These simple steps can be really life and money-saving for you as they will not only help you to stay away from dengue but also save the savings that you might have to spend during the treatment.

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