Things to know
- Dengue fever is a serious infection caused by the bite of an infected mosquito. You can expect to experience the symptoms after 4-10 days of being infected.
- Common dengue fever symptoms include sudden high fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, muscle and joint pain and skin rashes.
- Sometimes, dengue fever symptoms relieve within a week. In some cases, it can further complicate into dengue haemorrhage fever and dengue shock syndrome.
About dengue fever
Dengue fever is a tropical infection caused by a virus. It is a mosquito-borne illness that spreads when an infected mosquito bites a person. This usually causes flu-like symptoms which can range from mild to severe. Dengue can be caused by one of the four viruses spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It is not a contagious disease, meaning, it cannot spread from one person to another.
Dengue fever symptoms
Dengue fever symptoms vary from one person to another. Sometimes, there are no obvious signs of this infection. If you get infected by this virus, you can expect the symptoms to appear after 4-10 days.
In mild cases, dengue fever symptoms go away on their own within a week. 7 warning signs of dengue fever include:
- Pain in the muscles, bones or joints
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain behind the eyes
- Swollen lymph glands
- Rashes on the skin
- High fever
Dengue fever can progress eventually and cause severe symptoms that can be life-threatening. These include:
- Pain and tenderness in the stomach
- Severe vomiting
- Nose or gum bleeding
- Blood in the stool
Dengue fever causes
Primarily, dengue fever causes include being bitten by an infected mosquito. It can only transmit from one person to another when a mosquito first bites an infected person and then bites a healthy person. Hereby, the virus enters a person’s bloodstream leading to an infection.
Once you have recovered from this fever, your body develops life-long immunity against this virus. However, you will only gain immunity against the one type of virus you have been infected with and not the other three. This means that you can still be infected by the rest of the viruses.
Dengue fever causes can occur in anyone. However, some people are more prone to be infected by this virus than others. Common risk factors include:
- Living in or travelling to a tropical region
- Previous dengue infection
Dengue fever temperature pattern
Dengue fever usually occurs nearly after 4-10 days of being infected by the bite of a mosquito. You are likely to experience a sudden onset of high dengue fever temperature pattern of 104 degrees Fahrenheit along with other symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting and body pain.
Complications of dengue fever
Dengue fever, if not treated timely and properly, can cause severe complications. It can lead to organ damage and internal bleeding.
In some cases, dengue fever can take a more complicated turn and progress into dengue hemorrhagic fever.
It can also cause your blood pressure levels to drop significantly causing your body to go into shock, a condition known as dengue shock syndrome. Sometimes, these complications can also turn life-threatening.
If a pregnant woman is infected with dengue fever, the infection can get transferred to the fetus and cause birthing complications. The additional risks include the risk of prematurity and low birth weight.
Dengue fever diagnosis
Your healthcare provider will use blood tests to check for the presence of elements that diagnose dengue fever. Dengue fever symptoms are similar to a range of other conditions such as chikungunya, malaria and typhoid fever. Your doctor will also evaluate your overall health and medical history.
Dengue fever treatment
Dengue fever treatment is dependent on the severity of your symptoms, your age, medical history and general health. There is no one-stop treatment for dengue fever. Your healthcare provider will aim to relieve your symptoms and offer lifestyle recommendations including increasing hydration.
Your healthcare team will constantly monitor your health and provide supportive care to speed up your recovery.
Dengue fever prevention
Dengue fever prevention is possible with careful steps. Here are some measures you can take to prevent the onset of this infection:
- Get vaccinated
- Cover your arms and legs
- Use mosquito-repellent
- Avoid travelling to tropical areas
- Prevent mosquito habitat by regular sanitisation and cleaning
- Stay in proper air-conditioning or well-screened house
You can expect to feel dengue symptoms between 2-7 days.
The first signs of dengue fever include high fever, headache, skin rashes and joint pain.
Dengue fever is transmitted by female mosquitoes of the species Aedes aegypti.
The dengue virus enters your bloodstream and binds itself to the platelets, leading to the multiplication of infectious virus, hence destroying healthy platelets.
Dengue fever is diagnosed with blood sampling. Your doctor will detect the presence of the infection in your bloodstream.