Dengue fever refers to mosquito-borne disease that is common in tropical and subtropical areas of the world.
Mild cases of dengue may involve a high fever, muscle and joint pain and a rash. Severe forms of this disease, also known as dengue hemorrhagic, may result in severe bleeding and a sudden decline in blood pressure (shock) and even death.
Signs and symptoms For Dengue
Many people, usually the children and teenagers, do not experience any signs or symptoms in case of a mild dengue fever. Symptoms normally occur after four to ten days after the person is infected by a mosquito.
Signs and symptoms of dengue fever usually include:
- A fever of 106 F (41 C)
- Pain behind the ears
Additional symptoms include:
- Widespread rash
- Nausea and vomiting
- Minor bleeding from nose or gums
In most cases, people normally recover within one week or so. However, in some cases, symptoms may worsen and become life-threatening. For examples, blood vessels may get damaged and start to leak and there may be a decline in clot-forming substances in the bloodstream.
This may result in:
- Bleeding from the mouth and nose
- Persistent vomiting
- Severe abdominal pain
- Problems associated with lungs, heart and liver
- Bleeding under the skin – this may look like bruising
When to seek medical attention when hit by Dengue
If you develop a fever after visiting a place where dengue is a common disease, make sure you see a doctor immediately.
Here is a short video clip from YouTube about Dengue prevention.
First Aid Treatment for Dengue Victim
There is no specific treatment for dengue fever yet. Your doctor may advise you to drink plenty of fluids in order to prevent dehydration due to high fever and vomiting. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication such as acetaminophen to reduce pain and fever. However, make sure you avoid pain medication that may increase bleeding problems, such as ibuprofen, naproxen and aspirin.
If a person is suffering from dengue fever, the following may be necessary:
- Medical and supportive hospital care
- Intravenous fluid and electrolyte restoration
- Transfusion to restore lost blood
- Blood pressure monitoring
Prevention for Dengue
For dengue fever, first aid courses are not necessary, however, a dengue fever vaccine maybe beneficial. The vaccination is not generally available as is still in development.
Therefore, if you are travelling in a place where dengue is common, the best way to avoid dengue is to prevent an infected mosquito from biting you.
- Stay in a well-screened or air-conditioned room or housing. This will keep away mosquitoes at night
- Avoid outdoor activities at dawn, dusk and early evening as these are the times when mosquitoes are more likely to be out
- Use mosquito repellents on your clothing, camping gear, shoes and bed netting. Apply repellents with 10 percent DEET concentration for the skin
- Wear protective clothing when you enter mosquito-infested regions, such as long pants, long sleeves, shoes and socks.