Posted August 20, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 2 min read
Dengue fever is a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses. These viruses are related to the viruses that cause West Nile infection and yellow fever.
Symptoms, which usually begin four to six days after infection and last for up to 10 days, may include
Sudden, high fever
Pain behind the eyes
Severe joint and muscle pain
Skin rash, which appears two to five days after the onset of fever
Mild bleeding (such a nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising)
Doctors can diagnose dengue infection with a blood test to check for the virus or antibodies to it.
If you become sick after traveling to a tropical area, let your doctor know.
This will allow your doctor to evaluate the possibility that your symptoms were caused by a dengue infection.
Treatment for Dengue Fever
There is no specific medicine to treat dengue infection.
If you think you may have dengue fever, you should use pain relievers with acetaminophen and avoid medicines with aspirin, which could worsen bleeding.
You should also rest, drink plenty of fluids, and see your doctor.
If you start to feel worse in the first 24 hours after your fever goes down, you should get to a hospital immediately to be checked for complications.
The best way to prevent the disease is to prevent bites by infected mosquitoes, particularly if you are living in or traveling to a tropical area.
This involves protecting yourself and making efforts to keep the mosquito population down.
In 2019, the FDA approved a vaccine called Dengvaxia to help prevent the disease from occurring in adolescents aged 9 to 16 who have already been infected by dengue.
But, there currently is no vaccine to prevent the general population from contracting it.
To protect yourself:
Use mosquito repellents, even indoors.
When outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks.
When indoors, use air conditioning if available.
Make sure window and door screens are secure and free of holes. If sleeping areas are not screened or air conditioned, use mosquito nets.
If you have symptoms of dengue, speak to your doctor.