:: Dengue ::

What is Dengue fever (DF)?
Dengue infection is caused by a virus. It occurs commonly as dengue fever. Occasionally the patient suffering from dengue may develop bleeding. Common sites for bleeding are nose, gums or skin. Sometimes, the patient may have coffee ground vomiting or black stools. This indicates bleeding in gastro intestinal tracts and it is serious. The patient with dengue who has bleeding has dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Rarely the patient suffering from dengue may develop shock, then it is called dengue shock syndrome (DSS).

How does the symptoms of Dengue?
Dengue should be suspected when you have sudden onset of fever. The fever is high 103-105 degrees F or 39-40 degrees C. It is accompanied with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, body aches and pains, rash on the skin and nausea or vomiting. The fever lasts for 5-7 days. In some patients, fever comes down on 3rd or 4th day but comes back. All the above symptoms and signs may not be present in the patient.

Can the diagnosis of dengue be confirmed?
There are laboratory tests (Platelet count, Dengue NS1 antigen, IgG & IgM anti Dengue) that provide direct or indirect evidence for the occurrence of dengue infection. The tests for confirmation of Dengue should be done in reliable laboratories referred by doctor

How can someone get dengue fever?
Dengue fever occurs following the bite of an infected mosquito Aedes aegypti. This type of mosquito has a peculiar white spotted body and legs and is easy to recognize even by laymen. The mosquito gets the Dengue virus after biting a human being infected with dengue virus.
Dengue does not spread directly from person to person. It is only spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Can dengue fever be treated at home?
Most patients with dengue fever can be treated at home. They should take rest, drink plenty of fluids that are available at home and eat nutritious diet. Sufficient fluid intake is very important and becomes more important in case DF progresses into DHF or DSS where loss of body fluid / blood is the most salient feature.

What is the treatment? Is it curable?
Like most viral diseases there is no specific cure for dengue fever. Antibiotics do not help. Paracetamol is the drug of choice to bring down fever and joint pain.

Can people die from dengue fever?
People who suffer from dengue fever have no risk of death but some of them develop Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome. In some of these cases death can occur. With proper treatment, the patients with Dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome can recover fully. Good treatment provided in time can save most lives.
The most dangerous type of dengue is the dengue shock syndrome. It is recognized by signs like excessive thirst, pale and cold skin (due to very low blood pressure), restlessness and a feeling of weakness. It is important to look for danger signs and contact the doctor as soon as any one or more of these are found.

Is there a vaccine to prevent dengue fever?
A vaccine has been developed to prevent dengue fever but it is still under trial. It is not yet available in the market.

How can I prevent dengue?
Dengue mosquitoes bite during the day time throughout the day. Highest biting intensity is about 2 hours after sunrise and before sunset. Therefore, people must protect themselves from all mosquito bites.
1. Wear full sleeves clothes and long dresses to cover as much of your body as possible.
2. Use repellents and  electric vapour mats  during the daytime,  be careful in  using them in young children  and  old
3. Use mosquito nets to who may rest during the day.