Dengue Fever: Help, Support and Overcome
Dengue Fever Overview
Dengue fever is a type of viral disease that is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. Dengue fever is usually associated with high fever, skin rashes and headaches or muscle pains. This type of fever is endemic in tropical and subtropical areas. WHO estimates that there are 100 million infections per year. In 2009, dengue fever affected several people in Key West, Florida. The incidence of this type of disease is on the rise in Thailand, India, Singapore, Philippines and few other countries in the Central American region. Incidences of dengue fever have increased in these countries due to rapid unplanned urbanization. Development of international commerce, world environmental changes and spread of the disease through international travelers are the few reasons for a rise in dengue cases. Dengue fever is also known as breakbone fever as severe muscle and joint pains can force people to assume strange body positions in an effort to reduce the pain.
Help and Support for Dengue Fever
A person may get dengue fever through the virus transmitted by a mosquito bite. A human can infect a mosquito if there are high number of viruses in the blood stream. A certain type of mosquito, Aedes aegypti, can infect a person with dengue fever. These mosquitoes are day time biters. The incubation period for the virus is fifteen days.
The symptoms of dengue start after 3 to 15 days from the transfer of the virus after a mosquito bite. The initial symptoms would be fever, painful muscle and joint aches, headaches, chills and rashes. There can be pain behind the eyes too. These initial symptoms last for about four days and then disappear. It comes back again with a rash that covers the whole body. These symptoms will last for about 2 weeks with complete recovery. Some people can get more severe symptoms like hemorrhagic areas in the skin and gums. This condition is usually seen in the children under the age of 15 years but it may occur in adults too.
Dengue is diagnosed by a medical practitioner by examining the symptoms that the patient experiences. But, he/she is also likely to advise a number of tests to arrive at a definite diagnosis. He will order a Complete Blood Test or CBC along with coagulation studies. Urine cultures and spinal tap may be done too but that will depend on the severity of the symptoms. These tests are considered to be definite in identifying dengue fever.
Dengue fever can be prevented by stopping the mosquitoes from biting. This can be done by using mosquito repellents and creams that are readily available in drugstores. If you are traveling, avoid those places which have a history of outbreak of dengue fever. Try to minimize the skin exposure by wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants. If the accommodation is not air conditioned, then you must use mosquito nets for your own protection.
Overcome Dengue Fever
This viral disease is self limiting. Hydration and pain control is all that you need to see through this condition. However, NSAIDs like bayer, ecotrin and motrin should be avoided as the dengue virus has a tendency to cause hemorrhages. You can administer medications such as tylenol. However, a severe case of dengue fever will require hospitalization along with IV hydration, blood transfusions and platelet transfusions. Complications of dengue fever are usually associated only with the severe forms. These complications can be dehydration, bleeding, low platelets, hypotension and bradycardia.