Dengue fever is a disease caused by viral infection in humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. This disease is often found in the Caribbean, Central America, and South Asia. Symptoms of dengue include fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes (retro-orbital pain), muscle and joint pain, and skin rash. Sometimes, dengue fever only has a mild impact, but it can also be severe, and even cause dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) which can be fatal if not treated.
Studying Dengue Fever
Understand the common symptoms of dengue fever. In mild cases, dengue fever may not cause obvious symptoms. However, in more severe cases, symptoms will begin to appear about 4-10 days after you are bitten by an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms of dengue fever include:
High fever (up to 41 degrees C)
Joint, bone and muscle pain
Pain behind the eye
Nausea and vomiting
Bleeding from the nose and gums (rare)
Understand how dengue fever is transmitted. The Aedes mosquito is the main type of mosquito that transmits dengue fever. Mosquitoes become infected with dengue after biting an infected person. Then, dengue fever will be transmitted by mosquitoes when biting other people. Dengue fever cannot be transmitted directly from one person to another.
Consider your risk factors. If you live or travel to tropical or subtropical areas, then you are at high risk of contracting dengue fever. You are also at a higher risk of contracting dengue fever if you have been infected before. A previous history of dengue fever also puts you at risk for more severe symptoms of the disease when you are infected for the second time.
Many tropical countries in Southeast Asia, Mainland India, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, South and central America, northeastern Australia, and Africa. After being absent for 56 years, dengue has also re-emerged in Hawaii.
Reducing Exposure to Dengue Infected Mosquitoes
Stay indoors, or under mosquito nets during peak mosquito infestations. There are two peak times of dengue mosquito biting activity: in the morning for a few hours after sunrise, and in the afternoon, a few hours before dark. However, mosquitoes may still be looking for food at any time of the day, especially indoors, in dark places, or on cloudy days.
Be sure to sleep in a room with protected ventilation, or with air conditioning, or under a mosquito net.
Use mosquito repellent while outdoors. You should protect yourself from mosquito bites while spending time outdoors in mosquito-infested areas. Apply mosquito repellent to all exposed areas of skin before leaving the house.
For adults and children over 2 months of age, use a mosquito repellent containing 10% DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide).
Protect babies under the age of 2 months by using a baby crib protected by an elasticated mosquito net so that it is tight.
Cover your skin. You can reduce the chances of being bitten by mosquitoes by covering as much of your skin as possible. Wear loose, long-sleeved clothing, socks, and long pants when you are going to a mosquito-infested area.
You can also spray mosquito repellent containing permethrin or other mosquito repellent approved by BPOM on your clothes for complete protection (Remember, don’t spray permethrin directly on your skin).
Get rid of puddles around you. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, such as in unused car tires, uncovered water storage containers, buckets, flower vases or pots, cans, and bathtubs. Try to reduce the mosquito population around you by removing standing water around your house or camping area.
Treating Dengue Fever
See a doctor as soon as possible if you suspect you have dengue fever. Seek immediate medical attention to increase your chances of recovery if you develop a fever after visiting an area affected by a dengue outbreak. If your symptoms get worse, your blood pressure may need to be monitored. You may also need blood transfusions, and other treatments that must be provided by a healthcare professional.
Know that there is no cure for dengue fever. Although several dengue vaccines are still being developed, there is currently no cure for dengue fever. If you recover from the disease, you will be immune to the strain of the virus that infects you. However, you can still be infected with any of the other three strains of the dengue virus.
Sufficient body fluid needs. Dengue fever can cause diarrhea and vomiting, which can lead to dehydration. Thus, you should drink plenty of water if you have dengue fever. Your doctor may give you an IV to meet your fluid needs as well.
Reduce pain. Paracetamol is the recommended drug for pain relief from dengue fever because it can lower your fever at once. Paracetamol is also less likely to cause bleeding than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Bleeding may occur if you have severe dengue symptoms.