What is dengue?
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 very serious and potentially life threatening.
For travelers and tourists it is important to know the symptoms of this disease in order not to miss 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 the symptoms of Dengue are very similar to other diseases, such as malaria and yellow fever.
The symptoms normally pass in about a week, although you may feel tired and slightly unwell for several weeks afterwards.
- high fever
- loss of appetite
- headache and pain behind the eyes
- Severe muscle and joint pains (the source of dengue's nickname, "breakbone fever")
- rash over most of the body
- 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
- 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 help reduce your risk of mosquito bites:
- 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 that hold standing water, such as planting containers, animal dishes and flower vases. Keep standing water containers covered between cleanings.
- Wear appropriate clothing: light colours, 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