Dengue fever is increasingly recognized as one of the world’s major emerging infectious diseases. Dengue is endemic in most tropical and subtropical countries. There is an estimated annual occurrence of over 100 million cases of dengue fever and 250,000 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever. The recent worst hit areas are South America mainly Brazil.
Dengue virus is transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus aedes, such as Aedes aegypti and A. albopictus.1 A. aegypti is found worldwide in the tropics and subtropics.
The incubation period ranges from 3 to 14 days, but it is usually 4 to 7 days.
- Sudden onset of fever, accompanied by a severe headache
- Retro-orbital pain, and fatigue
- Severe myalgia and arthralgia
- The fever usually lasts from five to seven days
Patients with dengue fever may have hemorrhagic manifestations, such as petechiae, purpura, Gum bleeding, epistaxis, menorrhagia, and gastrointestinal hemorrhage.
Very rare complications of dengue fever include myocarditis, hepatitis, and neurologic abnormalities, such as encephalopathy and neuropathies.
Dengue Haemorragic Fever and Shock Syndrome
Dengue Haemorragic Fever is a severe form of Dengue Fever which can sometimes be fatal. The symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain and vomiting
- Restlessness, a change in the level of consciousness
- Sudden change from fever to hypothermia may be the first clinical warning signs
As with most viral infections, there is no treatment or prophylaxis against Dengue Fever. The most effective way to prevent is to avoid getting mosquito bites.
In terms of treatment, it requires symptomatic treatment. It is always advisable to consult a medical practitioner as it can be fatal if complicated.