Over the past 50 years, the rate of dengue has increased by 30 folds putting half of the world’s population in danger. Dengue is a contagion and viral disease that is fast spreading in all parts of the world. It affects suburbs, countryside, poor urban areas as well as prominent neighbourhoods in subtropical and tropical countries.
Mild dengue causes a rash, muscle, joint pain, and a high fever. An extreme type of dengue fever can lead to severe bleeding, shock (sudden drop in blood pressure) or even death. While the best way to protect yourself from dengue fever is ensuring you live in an environment that is not inhabited by mosquitoes, scientists are working to avail effective vaccines. Dengue can affect everyone, but it is more intense to individuals with a low immunity.
What Are the Causes of Dengue Fever?
Dengue fever is caused by all four types of dengue viruses spread by mosquitoes near human residents or lodgings. Whenever a mosquito bites individual suffering from dengue, it gets the virus. When the mosquito bites another person, it leaves the viruses into their bloodstream.
After you recover from the dengue fever, you automatically become immune sytem to the virus of the type of mosquito that bites you. However, you remain vulnerable to the three other dengue fever viruses. If an individual is affected the second, third and fourth time, they stand a high chance of developing dengue hemorrhagic fever, which is severe dengue fever.
Precautions to Take If You live in an Area Infested with Mosquitoes
It is vital that you take precautions if you live in tropical areas where dengue fever is common. Here are tips to reduce the risk of mosquito bites;
Invest in protective clothing. When visiting mosquito infested areas, ensure that you wear socks, a long-sleeved shirt, shoes, and long pants.
Use mosquito repellent. You can apply a repellent as long as the concentrations of DEET (a product that makes it more difficult for mosquitoes to find you) is 10%. You may also buy clothing sewed with permethrin already or apply permethrin to your shoes, bed netting, camping gear, and clothing.
Stay in well-screened housing or air-conditioned houses. This is a necessary precaution because even though mosquitoes that spread the dengue viruses are active from dawn to dusk, they can also bite during the night.
What is the first sign of dengue fever?
The symptoms of dengue fever manifest between the 3rd and 14th day after a dengue-infected mosquito has bitten the individual. Initial signs of the fever include pain behind eyes, headache, and a fever.
How long does it take to show Dengue Fever symptoms?
How long the symptoms of dengue fever take before they show can vary depending on the immunity of the individual. In some cases, the symptoms may not show until the second week while in other circumstances, the individuals start experiencing the signs as early as four or seven days.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dengue Fever?
The main symptoms of dengue fever include;
ü Joint pain
ü Severe headache
ü Mild bleeding manifestation (e.g., petechiae, or, nose or gum bleed)
ü Sharp pain behind eyes
ü Low white cell count
ü Muscle/bone pain
Younger children and the adults fighting dengue fever for the first time have a milder illness compared to older children and those suffering from the fever the second time.
Watch the patient closely as the temperature levels begin to decrease after three to seven days after the symptoms begin for any warning signs.
If you see any of the warning symptoms listed below, go to the emergency unit immediately or seek help from the nearest health care provider.
ü Irritability or drowsiness
ü Difficulty in breathing
ü Vomiting blood
ü Persistent vomiting or severe abdominal pain
ü Black, tarry stools
ü Pale or clammy skin
ü Bleeding from gums or nose
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) causes a fever that lasts between 2 to 7 days, with other dengue fever symptoms. As the temperature reduces, warning signs may manifest. The warning signs symbolize the beginning of the 24-48 hour period when capillaries become “leaky,” hence allowing the fluid component to escape to the pleural cavity and peritoneum from the blood vessels.
Failure of prompt and appropriate medication may lead to shock, failure of the circulatory system or even death. Additionally, a DHF patient hemorrhagic manifests low platelet count, tendency to bruise or other skin hemorrhages, bleeding nose or gums. Or internal bleeding.
Final Verdict on Dengue Fever
Dengue fever has become common over the past 50 years. It is caused by the four types of dengue viruses spread by the mosquito. It is vital that you take precautions such as mosquito repellents when you are around mosquito-infested areas. If you observe any warning signs and symptoms of dengue fever on any family member or friend, ensure that you seek immediate health care help.