Dengue fever symptoms: How to recognise them early

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection and is prevalent throughout the tropics and subtropics.

By Salome Phelamei | Last Updated: Sep 17, 2015, 13:52 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection and is prevalent throughout the tropics and subtropics.

It is transmitted by female mosquitoes mainly of the species Aedes aegypti and, to a lesser extent, A. albopictus.

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Dengue fever is a flu-like illness that affects infants, children and adults alike. Occasionally the infection causes a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue.

If a person is suffering from a high fever (40°C/104°F) and is accompanied by 2 of the following symptoms, dengue should be suspected:

  • Severe headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Widespread rash
  • Minor bleeding from the nose or gums

Symptoms usually last for 2–7 days, after an incubation period of 4–10 days after the bite from an infected mosquito.

Also Read: What dengue can do to your body

In case of severe dengue, warning signs occur 3–7 days after the first symptoms in conjunction with a decrease in temperature (below 38°C/100°F) and include:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Bleeding gums
  • Fatigue
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Blood in vomit

As there are no approved vaccines or therapies to prevent dengue, early detection and access to proper medical care can reduce the fatality rates.