Dengue Fever - Health Center
By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST
Dengue Fever - Overview
Dengue Fever, which is also known as break bone fever, is known as a type of fever which is caused due to a mosquito bites, causing severe flu like symptoms. All over the world, there are four different kinds of viruses that are known to spread Dengue fever all of which are spread by mosquitoes. Dengue can vary from being mild to quite severe and therefore, the severe forms of this infection can lead to dengue shock syndrome and dengue haemorrhagic fever in patients. Often there arises a need for hospitalization amongst people suffering from the extreme cases of Dengue.
Currently, there are no known vaccinations for Dengue. The best possible way to protect oneself from it is to make sure that you are not bitten by a mosquito. The occurrence of Dengue fever is known to be basically present in regions like South America, South East Asia and Africa. People living in the rural regions are at a higher risk of contracting the disease as compared to their urban counterparts.
Around 2.5 billion people all over the world remain at a risk of suffering from Dengue. The disease is now known to be endemic in more than 100 countries. Also, it has emerged out to be one of the leading causes for the death among children in Asian regions. More than half a million people suffer from dengue every year and around 2.5 % of them succumb to the disease.
Signs and Symptoms of Dengue Fever:
A symptom is something which a patient feels when he has contracted the disease. A headache comes out to be one of the first symptoms that a patient feels once he has contracted the disease. Though there are different kinds of dengue fever, the symptoms can vary too.
Mild Dengue fever :
Symptoms for this can appear after seven days of the mosquito bite. These symptoms tend to disappears within a week and thus never tend to lead to any fatal consequences. Some of the major symptoms are as follows:
- Ache in the muscles and joints
- Body rashes that tend to appear and disappear from time to time
- High fever
- Intense headaches
- Severe pain behind the eyes
- Vomiting and a feeling of nausea
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF)
In this the symptoms can be very mild in the beginning, but later it can worsen with the passage of time. Some of the major symptoms of the same are as follows:
- Bleeding from the gums and the mouth
- Repeated nosebleeds
- Clamminess of the hands
- Damaged lymph and blood vessels
- Internal bleeding – leading to the black vomit and stools
- Lower number of platelets in the body, leading to slower clotting of the blood
- Sensitive stomach
- Small blood spots formed underneath the surface of the skin
- Weakness of the pulse
Dengue Shock Syndrome :
This is one of the worst forms of dengue and can also lead to the death of the person. This can lead to the mild dengue fever symptoms such as:
- Intense stomach ache
- Disorientation in the day to day activities
- Increased hypotension ( Dropping of the blood pressure)
- Heavy bleeding
- Regular vomiting
- Leaking of the fluid amongst the blood vessels
Causes of Dengue:
There are four major types of Dengue Viruses that are all known to cause the fever amongst people. Aedes aegypti – one of the most common mosquito which acts as a host to the virus is the one is found in almost all the tropical areas of the world and dwells close to the human population. The virus is transmitted from a mosquito to the human directly. The process of the same begins when the mosquito bites the person and thus passes on the virus to the person.
If a person has contracted Dengue fever earlier, he is prone to contract it again, owing to the different viruses that are present all over the world, causing the fever in people all over the world. In case a person contracts the fever for the second time, the chances for developing of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever are much higher and severe as compared to the previous case. Also, the exposure of the body to the virus can lead to the production of the antibodies by the body, thus allowing the body to fight against the virus naturally.
Some of the biggest complications of Dengue is that some people tend to suffer from fatigue and depression even after months of contracting the infection. Not only that, the dengue fever can lead to the development of the harsher forms of the disease i.e. Dengue Hemorrhagic fever and Dengue Shock Syndrome.
Tests and Diagnosis for Dengue:
The signs and symptoms of the dengue fever are similar to that of malaria and typhoid. Therefore, there needs to be in place an accurate system for the diagnosis of the disease.
Some of the best known ways are as follows:
- Assesing the symptoms: In this the doctors take down the account of all the symptoms of the person and then orders some tests in order to determine the root cause of the disease.
- Blood Samples : In this, the sample of the blood is tested in the lab to determine the dengue virus. If it is determined, then the treatment is straightforward, otherwise, there are other tests such as ELISA, HI assay and RT-PCR in place.
- Assessment of Medical History : The doctor needs to know the medical history of the patient in order to know if he has been susceptible towards mosquito bite.
Treatment and Drugs for Dengue:
Since Dengue is a disease caused by the virus, there is no specific treatment for this.
However, some of the best known measures followed by doctors are as follows:
- Prevention of Dehydration : This is done in order to fill back the water level decreased due to vomiting and high fever. Bottled water is preferred over tap water for the patient and rehydration salts are used in order to bring back up the water level of the person.
- Painkillers: They are used to decrease the fever and ease the pain of the patient. Not only that, some of the NSAID’s such as aspirin are used in order to decrease the risk of the internal bleeding of the patient.
- IV Drip: in some of the severe cases of dengue, the IV drip is used in order to inject the fluids via veins if the person is unable to take them orally.
- Blood Transfusion: In case of people suffering from extreme dehydration, blood transfusion is done.
With the complete hospital care a person can be treated completely for Dengue and can come out to gain his health as before.