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Dengue fever (Breakbone fever) : Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What is Dengue fever?

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease that has rapidly spread in all regions of WHO in recent years. Dengue virus is transmitted by female mosquitoes mainly of the species Aedes aegypti and, to a lesser extent, Ae. albopictus. These mosquitoes are also vectors of chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika viruses. Dengue is widespread throughout the tropics, with local variations in risk influenced by rainfall, temperature, relative humidity and unplanned rapid urbanization.

Dengue fever is also known as Breakbone fever. Dengue fever belongs under the category of Tropical disease. DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4 are some common types of Dengue fever. Generally Male, Female and Child are the victim of the Dengue fever. Seriousness of this disease is Medium.

Symptoms of Dengue fever are :

  • Medium Fever
  • A fever is a higher-than-normal body temperature. It?s a sign of your body's natural fight against infection.

    • For adults, a fever is when your temperature is higher than 100.4°F.
    • For kids, a fever is when their temperature is higher than 100.4°F (measured rectally); 99.5°F (measured orally); or 99°F (measured under the arm).

    The average normal body temperature is 98.6° Fahrenheit (or 37° Celsius). When you or your child?s temperature rises a few degrees above normal, it?s a sign that the body is healthy and fighting infection. In most cases, that?s a good thing.

    But when a fever rises above 102°F it should be treated at home and, if necessary, by your healthcare provider if the fever doesn?t go down after a few days.

  • Skin rash
  • Itchy skin, also known as pruritus, is an irritating and uncontrollable sensation that makes you want to scratch to relieve the feeling. The possible causes for itchiness include internal illnesses and skin conditions.

    It?s important to see a doctor for itchiness if the cause isn?t obvious. A doctor can find the underlying cause and provide treatments for relief. Several home remedies such as over-the-counter creams and moisturizers work well for itching.

  • Vomiting
  • Vomiting, or throwing up, is a forceful discharge of stomach contents. It can be a one-time event linked to something that doesn?t settle right in the stomach. Recurrent vomiting may be caused by underlying medical conditions.

    Frequent vomiting may also lead to dehydration, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.

  • Nausea
  • Nausea and vomiting are common signs and symptoms that can be caused by numerous conditions. Nausea and vomiting most often are due to viral gastroenteritis ? often mistakenly called stomach flu ? or the morning sickness of early pregnancy.

    Many medications can cause nausea and vomiting, as can general anesthesia for surgery. Rarely, nausea and vomiting may indicate a serious or even life-threatening problem.

  • Fatigue/weakness
  • Weakness

    Weakness is when strength is decreased and extra effort is needed to move a certain part of the body or the entire body. Weakness is due to loss of muscle strength. Weakness can be a big part of why cancer patients feel fatigue.

    Fatigue

    Fatigue is an extreme feeling of tiredness or lack of energy, often described as being exhausted. Fatigue is something that lasts even when a person seems to be getting enough sleep. It can have many causes, including working too much, having disturbed sleep, stress and worry, not having enough physical activity, and going through an illness and its treatment.

  • Severe joint and muscle pain
  • Joints are the parts of your body where your bones meet. Joints allow the bones of your skeleton to move. Joints include:

    • shoulders
    • hips
    • elbows
    • knees

    Joint pain refers to discomfort, aches, and soreness in any of the body?s joints. Joint pain is a common complaint. It doesn?t typically require a hospital visit.

    Sometimes, joint pain is the result of an illness or injury. Arthritis is also a common cause of joint pain. However, it can also be due to other conditions or factors.

  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Many people complain to their eye doctor about "pain behind the eyes." or what may feel like a deep headache. Pain, headache, or achiness that occurs behind the eye is a common complaint and can be concerning. However, a proper diagnosis is not always easy. Your eye doctor will need to evaluate your eye health to determine a possible source of pain. Eye pain is a catch-all phrase to describe discomfort on, in, behind or around the eye.

    The pain can be unilateral or bilateral ? in other words, you can experience right eye pain, left eye pain, or the discomfort can affect both eyes. There's no evidence that right eye pain occurs more frequently than left eye pain, or vice versa.

    In some cases, such as an eye injury, the cause of the pain is obvious. But often it's difficult to know why your eye hurts.

    To complicate matters, the severity of eye pain does not indicate how serious the underlying cause of the discomfort is. In other words, a relatively minor problem, such as a superficial abrasion of the cornea, can be very painful. But several very serious eye conditions ? including cataracts, macular degeneration, the most common type of glaucoma, a detached retina, and diabetic eye disease ? cause no eye pain whatsoever.

  • Severe Headache
  • Headaches are a common health problem ? most people experience them at some time.

    Factors that lead to headaches may be:

    Frequent or severe headaches can affect a person?s quality of life. Knowing how to recognize the cause of a headache can help a person take appropriate action.

    Causes

    Dengue fever can be caused due to:

    • Aedes Mosquitoes.

    What kind of precaution should be taken in Dengue fever?

    • Protect yourself against mosquito bites.
    • Prevent mosquito breeding inside and outside your home.
    • Avoid visiting areas prone to mosquitoes.

    How it can be spread?

    • Through Aedes mosqueto bite.

    Treatment for the Dengue fever

    Dengue can be treated after the diagnosing it. Following are the ways to diagnose and treating dengue.

    Diagnostics:

    Several methods can be used for diagnosis of DENV infection. These include virological tests (that directly detect elements of the virus) and serological tests, which detect human-derived immune components that are produced in response to the virus). Depending on the time of patient presentation, the application of different diagnostic methods may be more or less appropriate. Patient samples collected during the first week of illness should be tested by both serological and virological methods (RT-PCR).

    Virological methods

    The virus may be isolated from the blood during the first few days of infection. Various reverse transcriptase?polymerase chain reaction (RT?PCR) methods are available. In general, RT?PCR assays are sensitive, but they require specialised equipment and technical training for staff implementing the test, therefore they are not always available in all medical facilities. RT?PCR products from clinical samples may also be used for genotyping of the virus, allowing comparisons with virus samples from various geographical sources.

    The virus may also be detected by testing for a virus-produced protein, called Dengue NS1 Antigen test. There are commercially-produced rapid diagnostic tests available for this, because it takes only ~20 mins to determine the result, and the test does not require specialized laboratory techniques or equipment.

    Serological methods

    Serological methods, such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA), may confirm the presence of a recent or past infection, with the detection of IgM and IgG anti-dengue antibodies. IgM antibodies are detectable ~1 week after infection and are highest at 2 to 4 weeks after the onset of illness. They remain detectable for about 3 months. The presence of IgM is indicative of a recent DENV infection. IgG antibody levels take longer to develop than IgM, but IgG remain in the body for years. The presence of IgG is indicative of a past infection.

    Treatment:

    There is no medication or treatment specifically for dengue infection. If you believe you may be infected with dengue, you should use over-the-counter pain relievers to reduce your fever, headache, and joint pain. However, aspirin and ibuprofen can cause more bleeding and should be avoided.

    Your doctor should perform a medical exam, and you should rest and drink plenty of fluids. If you feel worse after the first 24 hours of illness?once your fever has gone down?you should be taken to the hospital as soon as possible to check for complications.

    Possible complication with Dengue fever

    A small percentage of individuals who have dengue fever can develop a more serious form of disease known as dengue hemorrhagic fever.

    Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

    The risk factors for developing dengue hemorrhagic fever include:
    • having antibodies to dengue virus from a previous infection
    • being under the age of 12
    • being female
    • weakened immune system
    This rare form of the disease is characterized by:

    The symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever can trigger dengue shock syndrome. Dengue shock syndrome is severe, and can lead to excessive bleeding and even death.

    References:

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