Things You Need To Know About Dengue

Things You Need To Know About Dengue

The incidence of dengue has been growing worldwide in recent years. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years. With up to 100 million cases of dengue occurring every year in over 100 countries, half of the world’s population is at risk.

Here are some things you should know about the mosquito-borne disease:

Can be fatal if mistreated

Dengue continues to rapidly spread worldwide. It’s known to cause a wide spectrum of disease, ranging from an infection that is nearly or completely asymptomatic to severe flu-like symptoms. In less common cases, some people may develop severe dengue, which can be fatal when not managed appropriately.

Signs & Symptoms

Dengue symptoms usually begin 4 – 10 days after infection and can last up to 2 – 7 days. Symptoms can be confused with other illnesses that cause fever, aches, pains, and rashes. But the most common symptoms of dengue are sudden, high fever, nausea, vomiting, skin rash (which may appear 2 – 5 days after the onset of fever), fatigue, severe headaches, backaches and severe body ache.

Spread by a specific species of mosquito

Dengue is transmitted through the bite of the Aedes mosquito infected with a dengue virus. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the main kind that causes dengue. This mosquito is most active during the day and tends to bite in the early hours right after sunrise and in the evening just before the sun sets. Generally, mosquitos thrive in urban areas close to human population. They prefer to breed in clean, stagnant water that is easily found in the household. All it takes is a very small amount of water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. 

Where does dengue happen?

Most cases occur in tropical areas of the world, including the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Southern China, Taiwan, the Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Mexico, Africa, Central and South America. Regardless of geographical location, dengue outbreaks can occur anytime and anywhere as long as warm weather conditions favour mosquito survival and the mosquitoes are active.

What is Dengue’s Treatment?

If you suspect you have dengue fever, you may manage symptoms such as fever, muscle aches and pains with medication containing acetaminophen or paracetamol. It’s also imperative that you get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids, and see a doctor immediately.

Easily preventable

Dengue can be easily prevented by making a few home and lifestyle adjustments:

  • Apply mosquito repellent
  • Spray insecticide in dark corners of your home, including under the bed, behind the sofa, and behind curtains
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers when outdoors
  • Consider air conditioning at home, if available
  • Ensure that all windows and door screens are secure and free of holes
  • Use mosquito nets if sleeping areas are not screened
  • Get rid of stagnant water at home and change water in vases/bowls on alternate days