Dengue fever is a painful disease resulting from the dengue virus. This virus is transmitted by mosquitoes belonging to the species Aedes Aegypti mainly found in tropical locations.
What are its causes?
There are four known kinds of dengue viruses transmitted by mosquitoes that live in and near human quarters, particularly wet areas or places that have stagnant water. A person bitten by an infected mosquito will get the virus.
In the same way, an uninfected mosquito can also get the virus from an already infected person when that mosquito bites the person.
If you had dengue fever at one point and you’ve already recovered from it, it makes you immune to that certain type of dengue virus you were infected with.
However, you do not develop immunity to the other three types. Dengue hemorrhagic fever, a severe form of dengue fever, may be developed if you’ve been infected multiple times.
What are its signs and symptoms?
Mild dengue fever usually does not show any symptoms, particularly in children and teenagers. When the symptoms do manifest, however, they normally start 4-7 days after the bite of the infected mosquito.
If you have dengue fever, your temperature would reach at least 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) and you would experience at least two of the symptoms listed below:
- Swollen glands
- Pain behind the eyes
- Joint pains
- Bone pains
- Muscle pains
Majority of individuals infected usually get well within seven days or so. However, there are instances when the condition becomes worse and the illness becomes fatal.
The body’s blood vessels usually become damaged, and the platelet count of the blood decreases to a below-normal amount. This can result in dengue shock syndrome or dengue hemorrhagic fever, a severe form of dengue fever.
The following are some signs of dengue hemorrhagic fever:
- Shock (skin feels cold or sweaty)
- Quick breaths or difficulty breathing
- Bleeding under the skin that may appear like bruises
- Blood in vomit, stool, or urine
- Nose bleeding
- Bleeding gums
- Constant vomiting
- Extreme abdominal pain
What are the risk factors?
There are certain factors that put a person at higher risk for contracting dengue virus, such as the following:
Being already infected previously with a kind of dengue virus.
If you have already been infected with dengue fever in the past, it makes you more susceptible to contracting the other dengue virus types.
Traveling to or living in tropical locations.
Dengue fever is more common in tropical and sub-tropical regions such as the Caribbean, Latin America, the western Pacific islands, and Southeast Asia.
What can I do now?
If you have recently been to a place where there is a dengue outbreak or a place where dengue fever is known to take place and you start observing the symptoms of severe dengue, go to a hospital immediately. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is life-threatening and needs to be treated right away.
If you notice the milder symptoms manifesting, consult your doctor.
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