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What is dengue?

14 December 2019

What is Dengue?

Dengue fever is most common in subtropical and tropical areas, such as Central and South America, parts of Africa, parts of Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific.

In most people, the infection is mild and passes in about a week without causing any lasting problems. But in rare cases, it can be severe and potentially life-threatening.

For travelers and tourists, it is essential to know the symptoms of this disease to avoid missing the beginning of treatment.

There is no specific treatment for dengue/ severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1%.

Symptoms of Dengue

Of course, to establish a diagnosis, you must consult a doctor and take tests.

We do not recommend self-diagnosis and self-treatment, as Dengue's symptoms are very similar to other diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever.

The symptoms usually pass in about a week, although you may feel tired and slightly unwell for several weeks afterward.

Classic symptoms:

  • high fever
  • loss of appetite
  • headache and pain behind the eyes
  • Severe muscle and joint pains (the source of dengue's nickname, "breakbone fever")
  • a rash over most of the body
  • the tendency to bleed from the skin or nose
  • bloody stools or heavy menstrual bleeding
  • nausea and vomiting
  • sore throat or nasal congestion

Dengue shock syndrome:

  • stomach pain
  • blood vessels leaking fluid
  • disorientation
  • heavy bleeding
  • regular vomiting
  • sudden hypotension or a fast drop in blood pressure

If you are living or traveling in tropical areas where dengue fever is common, these tips may reduce your risk of mosquito bites:

ph by rawpixel

  • Avoid mosquito hotspots. The mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus typically live in and around houses, breeding in standing water that can collect in such things as used automobile tires. You can help lower mosquito populations by eliminating habitats where they lay their eggs. At least once a week, empty and clean containers hold standing water, such as planting containers, animal dishes, and flower vases. Keep standing water containers covered between cleanings.
  • Wear appropriate clothing: light colors, long sleeve clothing, long pants, or socks.
  • Use insect repellent. Those products, which include DEET, claim to be the most effective
  • Use screens on doors and windows. Keep unscreened doors and windows shut.
  • Use an insect net.

ph by Presley Roozenburg

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