What is Dengue Fever?
Dengue Fever is a viral disease spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Its more sever and often fatal form is called Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. Dengue and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever are caused by any of the Dengue family of viruses, Flaviviridae. Infection with one virus does not protect a person against infection with another.
How do people get Dengue Fever?
Dengue is spread by the bite of an Aedes mosquito containing the Dengue virus. The mosquito transmits the disease by biting an infected person and then biting someone else.
According to Medical News Today, Dengue fever is the most common insect-borne virus infection, causing more than 50 million infections, 500,000 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever and at least 12000 deaths per year.
What are the signs and symptoms of Dengue Fever?
Early symptoms include:
· High fever
· Severe headache
· Pain behind the eyes
· Muscle and joint pain
More sever signs include:
· Loss of an appetite
· Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever symptoms:
o Bleeding from the nose, mouth, and gumsWhat is the treatment for Dengue Fever?
There is no specific treatment for Dengue. Persons with Dengue fever should rest and drink plenty of fluids. They should be kept away from mosquitoes for the protection of others. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is treated by replacing lost fluids. Blood transfusions to control bleeding may be required for severe hemorrhagic symptoms.How can Dengue Fever be prevented?
There is no commercially available vaccine for the Dengue virus. Avoid mosquito bites by the following:
· Use mosquito repellents on skin and clothing.
· When outdoors during times that mosquitoes are biting, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks.
· Avoid heavily populated residential areas, as this increases the chance of transmission from person to person.
· When indoors, stay in air-conditioned or screened areas. Use bed nets if sleeping areas are not screened or air-conditioned.
Eliminate mosquito breeding sites in areas where Dengue might occur:
· Eliminate mosquito breeding sites around homes. Discard items that can collect rain or run-off water, especially old tires.
· Regularly change the water in outdoor bird baths and pet and animal water containers.