Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease that is quite prevalent in India. At present there is no vaccination for preventing dengue and the best way to prevent the same is to curb the breeding of mosquitoes near your home. Dengue is also a disease that can severely comprise your organ functioning and complicate issues if the signs and symptoms are ignored for a long time. Early detection and timely treatment is key in Dengue.
Symptoms of Dengue
- A severe headache
- Feeling or experiencing severe flu
- Pain in the eyes
- A fever of high temperature i.e. 104 F or 40C or above. It could last till up to 5 days
- Severe joint aches which are why dengue is also called break-bone fever
- Myalgia or severe pain of muscles of lower back, legs, and arms
- Nausea & vomiting
- Shiver or chills
- Red skin rash which could appear 2 – 5 days post the start of fever & another rash which appears similar to the measles if the disease has further progressed
- Facial flushing
The aforementioned symptoms may be mild for some individuals while they may be severe for the others. All symptoms vary as per age. Infants & young children generally have high fever & a rash.
What is a Dengue virus?
- Dengue spreads through Aedes aegypti mosquito which is infected with the virus. It bites during the daytime, mainly between dawn & dusk.
- There exist 4 different strains of dengue virus known as DEN1, DEN2, DEN3 & DEN4. They all have potential to result in either dengue or a further serious kind of disease known as dengue hemorrhagic fever.
- Rising population & a rise in global travel have caused transmission of this virus amongst different populations.
- Dengue virus transmission has a cycle. A mosquito bites an infected human, it then bites another human & this cycle continues. Animals from jungles of Africa & Southeast Asia may also become bitten & infected with this virus and contribute to a widespread disease.
Risk Factors for Dengue:
Factors which increase our risk of being bitten by the dengue-causing mosquito are:
- The journey during the rainy season
- Living in cities in high-risk countries, mainly slum areas with no or less public health measures
The risk of contracting the dengue hemorrhagic fever is high if we have been infected earlier with a dengue virus.