Dengue Fever : Causes and Symptoms

Dengue Fever

Every year the onset of the rainy season marks the spread of dengue fever. The incidence rate of dengue fever has increased several folds in the previous years, making it a major health threat.

Dengue (pronounced as Den- gee) fever is a mosquito-borne disease also known as break bone fever. Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of the female mosquito known as Aedes mosquito. Dengue fever symptoms mainly include high fever, swollen glands, severe joint pain, and muscle pain, etc. The dengue virus is not contagious and cannot spread directly from person to person.

Several factors increase the risk of Dengue fever like:

  • Travelling or living in tropical areas: The dengue virus is most prevalent in tropical and sub-tropical areas which increase the risk of exposure to the virus.
  • Previous infection with a dengue virus: If a person has already been infected before with a dengue virus the risk of developing severe symptoms of the dengue fever is quite high.

Dengue Fever causes

Dengue Fever Causes

Dengue virus is spread by a female mosquito typically of the species Aedes aegypti and sometimes also by Aedes albopictus. When a mosquito bites an individual, infected with a dengue fever virus, the virus penetrates the mosquito. The infected mosquito acts as the carrier for dengue fever virus and transfers the infection to another person. The infection travels to the blood making the person sick.

There are 4 distinct dengue viruses which are labelled as DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. These are closely related to one another and are antigenically similar. Dengue symptoms usually start 4 to 7 days after being infected by the mosquito and typically last 4 to 10 days. This time period is known as the incubation period.

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Dengue Fever Symptoms

Dengue Fever Symptoms vary depending on the extremity of the disease. The various types of dengue fever are listed below:

Mild Dengue Fever

It is a milder form of dengue infection and it hardly involves any serious or fatal complications. The symptoms of mild dengue fever generally disappear after a week. The Mild Dengue Fever symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Severe headache
  • Aching in muscles and joints
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Body rashes
  • Vomiting and feeling nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rash

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF)

It is a more serious form of dengue infection and can be fatal. It starts with typical signs of mild dengue fever and later on the symptoms tend to worsen. The dengue fever symptoms include:

  • Bleeding from the mouth and gums
  • Internal bleeding, leading to black vomit
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Nose bleeding
  • Restlessness( malaise)
  • Huge Fall in blood pressure
  • Weak pulse rate
  • Clammy skin
  • Bleeding under the skin
  • The lymph nodes starts to swollen
  • Dehydration
  • Blood in the urine and stool
  • Difficulty is breathing
  • Dysfunction in platelets

Dengue Fever symptoms

Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS)

From DHF the condition can progress to Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). It is more severe that DHF and can be fatal. The dengue fever symptoms include:

  • Multiple organ failure
  • Hemorrhage (bleeding)
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Frequent vomiting

The above symptoms can only be controlled if the early clinical diagnosis is done. Hence, needless to say, if any of the above-mentioned symptoms are observed, immediate treatment should be done to manage the infection from getting worse.

Read more about Dengue Fever: Diagnosis and Treatment