Dengue fever is a type of arbovirus, which is short for arthropod-borne virus. The virus that causes dengue fever is carried by Aedes egypti mosquitoes, and is transmitted to humans through their bite. An organism that carries a disease, without actually developing the disease, is called a vector.
Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes and caused by any of four related dengue viruses. It is generally a disease of the tropics and is common in Africa, South East Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean and the Americas.
Symptoms of Dengue Fever
Symptoms of typical dengue usually start with fever and includes:
- High fever, up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Severe headache.
- Retro-orbital (behind the eye) pain.
- Severe joint and muscle pain.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Rash – The rash may appear over most of your body 3 to 4 days after the fever begins. You may get a second rash later in the disease. Symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever include all of the symptoms of classic dengue.
- Marked damage to blood and lymph vessels.
- Bleeding from the nose, gums or under the skin, causing purplish bruises.
Causes of Dengue Fever
Dengue fever can be caused by any one of four types of dengue virus: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. You can be infected by at least two, if not all four types at different times during your lifetime, but only once by the same type.
How is dengue fever diagnosed?
Your health care provider can diagnose dengue fever by doing two blood tests, 2 to 3 week apart. The tests can show whether a sample of your blood contains antibodies to the virus. In epidemics, a health care provider often can diagnose dengue by typical signs and symptoms
Home Treatment of Dengue Fever
There is no specific treatment for classic dengue fever, and like most people you will recover completely within 2 weeks. To help with recovery, health care experts recommend:
- Getting plenty of bed rest.
- Drinking lots of fluids.
- Chewing of basil leaves is immune-boosting technique.
- Taking medicine to reduce fever.
- Juice of Papaya leaves might help for immune system.
How can dengue fever be prevented?
The best way to prevent dengue fever is to take special precautions to avoid contact with mosquitoes. Several dengue vaccines are being developed, but none is likely to be licensed for human use in the next few years. When outdoors in an area where dengue fever has been found:
- Use a mosquito repellant containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Dress in protective clothing-long sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes.
- Stay in well screened or air conditioned areas.
- Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day. Therefore, be sure to use precautions especially during early morning hours before daybreak and in the late afternoon before dark.