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.
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
- 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.
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
- 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.