Dengue fever is a virus that is contracted from mosquitoes in tropical areas. It comes on fast and it can affect anyone. People who have lowered immune systems are more susceptible to it. Symptoms manifest themselves approximately two weeks after infection. Dengue fever is related to yellow fever and West Nile infection and the majority of cases in the United States are connected to people traveling abroad, in the areas at risk.
It is caused by more serotypes (there are 5) so you can get it more than once; you can only get dengue fever from each serotype once though. The virus is carried by the same mosquito that carries the Zika virus.
Symptoms usually last for approximately ten days after they first occur. If mild, this disesease can be mistaken for common flu.
Some of the most common symptoms of dengue fever include headache, chills, eye pain, lower backache, and appetite loss. Some experience pain in the legs and joints at the beginning of the illness. A high temperature (sometimes as high as 104 F/40 C), low blood pressure, and low heart rate are also experienced by those who have dengue fever. Swollen lymph nodes, red eyes, and a pink toned rash are some of the other symptoms.
Dengue fever is a sickness caused by one of the four types of dengue viruses that spread through mosquito bites. After a mosquito bites someone who is infected with dengue virus, that virus infiltrates the mosquito. Later, when an infected mosquito bites someone else, the virus is transmitted to that person via their bloodstream.
People who recover from dengue fever develop immunity to the strain of the virus that infected them but not to the other four dengue strains. The threat of developing a severe case of dengue fever, otherwise called dengue hemorrhagic fever, increases if a person is infected a second, third or fourth time.
Antibiotics and antiviral medications are not helpful for dengue fever because it is caused by a virus; therefore, doctors focus on treating the symptoms. Fluids and rest are one of the first things doctors will recommend. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs can help but should only be taken with a doctor’s recommendation because of the risk of bleeding complications. Other pain relievers, like codeine, may be recommended by doctors if you have severe joint or muscle pain or headaches.
There is no existing vaccine against dengue fever and only by avoiding mosquito bites can you prevent yourself from contracting the virus.