Dengue fever is a disease caused by viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. It can affect anyone but likely to be more harmful to people with compromised immune system. There are basically five serotypes of dengue virus which can cause the disease. Hence, a person can get dengue fever multiple times. However, an attack of dengue virus produces immunity to that particular serotype to which the person was exposed.
Signs and Symptoms of Dengue Fever
Few of the symptoms of dengue fever are:
- Sudden, high fever
- Pain behind eyes
- Severe joint and muscle pain
- Skin rash (which appears 2 to 5 days after the inception of fever)
- Mild bleeding (such as nose bleed, bleeding gums or easy bruising)
Sometimes, symptoms can be mild and mistaken as those of the flu or other viral infections. However, serious problems can occur if taken mildly. These include dengue haemorrhagic fever, which is characterized by high fever, damage to blood vessels and lymph, enlargement of the liver, failure of the circulatory system and bleeding from the nose and gums. If dengue haemorrhagic fever is left untreated, then the symptoms can progress to massive bleeding, shock and death. This is known as dengue shock syndrome (DSS).
If someone experiences one or more if the symptoms given above, then immediately consult a doctor for the treatment.
Prevention of Dengue Fever
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine discovered to prevent dengue fever. The best way to prevent the disease is to prevent bites by infected mosquitoes which involves protecting yourself and also taking measures to keep the mosquito population down.
Few of the things which one can do for protection from dengue are:
- Use mosquito repellents
- When outdoors, wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants
- Use air-conditioning, if available
- Safeguard yourself at indoors by making sure that window and door screens are secure and free from holes.
- Use mosquito nets while sleeping if air-conditioning is not available.
- Keep yourself away from heavily populated residential area
- Keep yourself away from garbage.