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Dengue is an illness caused by the dengue virus, transmitted by mosquitoes of the Aedes species. It can affect people of all ages. Signs of affliction usually start with high fever and flu-like symptoms. There are three dengue fever stages: the initial or the fever phase, the critical phase, and the convalescent or recovery phase.
Symptoms of Dengue
Excessive temperature and flu-like symptoms are early-stage dengue symptoms. The most extreme stage of dengue (also called dengue hemorrhagic fever) can result in loss of life. Significant bleeding, a drop in blood pressure, and shock are all possible dengue fever symptoms and signs.
Many patients don’t display any signs or symptoms of dengue fever until 4 to 10 days after an infected mosquito has bitten them.
Any of the following dengue fever symptoms and signs, besides an excessive body temperature of 104 F (40 C), are possible symptoms of dengue fever. The early-stage dengue fever symptoms and signs are-
- Joint, muscle, or bone soreness
- Pain at the back of eyes
- Enlarged glands
- Rashes and dengue fever red spots
Early-stage dengue symptoms can quickly escalate, causing danger to one's life. These warning signs, which may appear on the first day or even after the fever has subsided, require immediate attention.
Dengue Fever Stages
If the clinical symptoms of dengue fever are not treated promptly, they can become severe and lead to hemorrhaging. It is crucial to recognize and address these symptoms promptly to prevent complications.
There are 3 Dengue fever stages to the disease's progression-
- The febrile period
- The critical phase
- The recovery phase
Various symptoms become evident during the initial phase of dengue fever, which typically lasts for the first three days. These early-stage dengue symptoms include:
- Sudden high fever: The affected person experiences an abrupt rise in body temperature, reaching 39–40 degrees Celsius.
- Upper respiratory tract irritation: The respiratory system may show signs of inflammation, leading to discomfort in the throat and nasal passages.
- Fatigue: A sense of extreme tiredness and lack of energy.
- Headache: Persistent pain in the head region.
- Sore Eyes: Discomfort or sensitivity in the eyes.
- Joint pain and body aches: The person may experience pain and discomfort in the joints and muscles.
- Vomiting and nausea: Frequent episodes of throwing up and feeling nauseous.
- Loss of appetite: A decreased desire to eat or a lack of interest in food.
- Petechiae: Small, reddish-purple spots that may appear beneath the skin, indicating congestion in the blood vessels. These are the dengue symptoms of red spots.
These early-stage dengue symptoms collectively characterize the first stage of dengue fever, typically within the first three days of infection.
The hemorrhagic or crucial phase typically occurs between days 3 and 7 of the illness. There may be heavy bleeding due to decreased platelet count in the blood. These symptoms may range from mild to severe, and it is a critical time when severe complications may occur for the patient.
The mildest manifestation of bleeding in dengue fever is known as subcutaneous hemorrhage. In this case, the affected person notices bleeding beneath the skin, often accompanied by itching. Women may experience abnormal bleeding unrelated to their menstrual cycle, such as nosebleeds and bleeding gums. Gastrointestinal bleeding can be present with symptoms like black or bloody stools, blood vomiting, or blood clots. Brain hemorrhage or bleeding within the abdominal cavity can occur in more severe cases. It is important to note that blood circulation and these more severe bleeding symptoms get reduced, leading to hemoconcentration. If the patient does not receive adequate fluid rehydration, they may experience hypotension, which is even more severe than shock.
When patients display symptoms such as difficulty in breathing, increased irritability, drowsiness, frequent vomiting, unexplained abdominal pain, severe headache, reduced urine output, or signs of blood, it is crucial to immediately transport them to a hospital for medical treatment.
The Recovery phase starts when the affected person has been fever-free for over forty-eight hours, feels better overall, has a growing appetite, starts urinating normally, and the blood platelet counts begin to rise.
Dengue Fever Precautions
To guard yourself against dengue fever, one ought to take the subsequent dengue fever precautions-
The best dengue fever precaution you can take is the vaccination, but you must be eligible for it. Dengvaxia is a vaccine approved for use in places with prevalent dengue fever. It is for people between the ages of nine and forty-five who have been affected by the illness at least once. However, it is essential to note that only patients with a documented history of dengue fever and whose blood tests confirm previous infection with one of the dengue viruses are eligible for the dengue vaccination.
Get rid of mosquitos
The essential dengue fever precaution for stopping the spread of the disease at its roots is to keep off mosquitos. These dengue fever precautions may also assist in decreasing your chance of mosquito bites if you live in or go to an area where dengue fever is widespread.
Stay in well-screened or air-conditioned homes
Dengue-carrying mosquitoes are most active during the daytime, so it is advisable to stay indoors in homes with proper screening or air conditioning. This helps to minimize the risk of mosquito bites.
Use protective clothing
When entering areas where mosquitoes are prevalent, it is essential to wear protective gear. Try wearing long sleeves, long trousers, socks, and closed-toe shoes. These clothing items provide an extra layer of protection against mosquito bites.
Apply insect repellent
Use mosquito repellent on your exposed skin to repel mosquitoes. Look for a repellent that contains at least 10% DEET (N, N-Diethyl-meta-toluamide) for optimal effectiveness.
Another dengue fever precaution is to spray permethrin on your footwear, clothing, camping equipment, and bed netting. Alternatively, you can purchase clothing items treated with permethrin, which helps repel mosquitoes.
The habitat for mosquitoes
Dengue-carrying mosquitoes dwell in proximity to humans. They tend to thrive in clean stagnant water, which can accumulate in various objects. You can help reduce the mosquito population by eliminating these potential breeding grounds. It is important to regularly empty and clean water-holding containers, including flower vases, pet bowls, and plant pots. Taking these dengue fever precautions will minimize the number of mosquitoes and breeding sites around your home.
Treatment Options for Dengue
There isn't any unique medicine for dengue fever. However, you can take the proper dengue fever precautions mentioned above and also follow the instructions stated below-
You must consume a lot of fluids to recover from dengue fever. Keep in touch with your doctor and stay alert about the signs of dehydration. Some of which are:
- Fewer urinations
- Little to no tears
- Dry lips or mouth
- Sluggishness or confusion
- Extremities feel numb
If you have dengue fever, avoiding aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium is essential. These painkillers can increase the risk of bleeding complications associated with dengue fever.
In cases of severe dengue fever, the following measures may be necessary:
- Hospitalization: If you have severe dengue fever, you may need to be admitted to the hospital for close monitoring and to receive appropriate care.
- Intravenous fluid and electrolyte replenishment: Severe dengue fever can cause dehydration; intravenous fluids and electrolytes help (IV) restore proper hydration.
- Blood pressure monitoring: Regular blood pressure monitoring is vital to ensure stability and detect any potential complications.
- Blood transfusion: In some cases, a blood transfusion is a way to replace any blood loss resulting from severe bleeding.
These interventions provide necessary support and medical management for individuals with severe dengue fever.
It's very critical to identify dengue fever as quickly as possible to keep away from severe symptoms like hemorrhagic fever. A blood test is taken as a part of a dengue diagnostic. Take a look at for dengue to search for antibodies to the dengue virus. It is recommended to take a diagnostic test to look at and check for dengue fever platelet counts. The test is executed as a preventative step when you have early-stage dengue fever signs and symptoms with dengue fever red spots or have currently visited a tropical, subtropical, or dengue-endemic zone.