What do you do when you get a mosquito bite? Most people usually scratch it or apply some bug spray. However, for some, this simple mosquito bite could lead to something more serious – a case of Dengue Fever. Dengue Fever is a viral infection that is spread by mosquitoes. It can be severe and can even be fatal in some cases.
If you think you may have contracted Dengue Fever, it is vital to seek medical attention right away. Treatments are available that can help lessen the symptoms and improve your prognosis. So don’t take any chances with this dangerous virus – if you think you may have contracted it, get checked out by a doctor right away!
Signs and Symptoms of Dengue Fever
Some of the common signs and symptoms are:
- Fever - Dengue fever is a much more severe illness than a simple mosquito bite. If you have a fever, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible.
- Rash - A rash may or may not develop. The rash consists of small bumps that can be pink to red. It can usually be found on the trunk of your body, around your waist, or on your lower extremities.
- Headache - A headache is another sign of Dengue fever. Usually, this pain will be mild to moderate in intensity. Headaches usually last for around 2 – 7 days.
- Pain behind the eyes - This is another common sign of Dengue fever. This pain usually occurs on both sides and can become quite severe. If this pain lasts longer than ten days, it could be a sign that you have dengue hemorrhagic fever (a more severe form of Dengue).
- Muscle Ache - Some people with Dengue fever also experience joint pains and aches in their muscles. This can affect the legs, arms, thighs, and back.
- Dizziness and Faintness - When some people have the sudden onset of a headache, it can lead to feelings of dizziness or fainting. This is a sign that your blood pressure has dropped significantly. Make sure you rest until this feeling passes.
Causes of Dengue Fever
Dengue fever is mainly caused by four different serotypes of the Dengue virus. These serotypes are called DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. There is another type known as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) which is much more severe than the original form of the illness. DHF is caused by all four serotypes of the Dengue virus.
When someone contracts a Dengue virus, they can develop dengue fever, the most common result. They might also experience Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF). If left untreated, this is usually fatal. Some people may never show any symptoms at all after contracting the virus.
The Dengue virus is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, typically during the daytime hours. In rare cases, dengue fever can be spread from a mother to her fetus or through blood transfusions. Symptoms usually appear between 4 – 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. It is important to note that a person can be bitten by a mosquito with Dengue fever and not show any symptoms at all – this is called asymptomatic infection.
Treating Dengue Fever
There is no specific treatment for dengue fever, but there are ways you can manage your condition and feel more comfortable while sick. You can take over-the-counter medications to help ease some of your symptoms for mild cases. Some of these include painkillers, fever reducers, and antihistamines. Other treatments include intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, and oxygen therapy. These are only given to people that are seriously ill or experiencing Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Antibiotics do not affect the Dengue virus, so do not take any if your doctor prescribes them to you.
If you have Dengue hemorrhagic fever or DHF, you will need to be hospitalized right away to receive supportive care for your symptoms. This may include intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, oxygen support, pain relievers, and fever reducers.
Your doctor may also recommend that you drink lots of fluids and get plenty of rest. This is usually the main course of treatment for all forms of Dengue fever. If your fever is very high, or if it lasts for more than 24 hours, you need to see a doctor right away.