Dengue Fever: Symptoms, Treatment, and Causes

While viral fever isn’t something you need to worry about much, you need to look out for dengue fever signs. Although mosquitoes look tiny, they are one of the most dangerous creatures in the world. They are the carriers of dengue-virus. The viruses they have can be life-threatening. The viruses that cause dengue also cause yellow fever and chikungunya. To treat and prevent this disease, you need to know what are the symptoms of dengue and malaria. Let us look into the symptoms, causes, and treatment one by one.

This article will give you a synopsis of the following topics:

  • Dengue Fever: What are the symptoms?
  • Other Symptoms of Dengue
  • Dengue Fever: Causes and risk factors
  • Dengue Fever: Its treatment and prevention
  • Things to remember while living or traveling in Subtropical regions

Dengue Fever: What are the symptoms?

Dengue fever symptoms do not appear right after the infection. The person infected suffers from high fever. You might mistake dengue fever for other cases of flu(1). Dengue symptoms appear after the sixth day of contracting fever and may last for over 10-15 days (2). Malaria is a similar disease caused by mosquito bites. The symptoms of malaria and dengue fever are identical. But you can differentiate them through diagnosis. To apprehend what are the symptoms of dengue and malaria, let us take a look below,

  • Sudden temperature rise to around 104-105 Fahrenheit is an initial sign for both.
  • Both can cause swelling in the lymph nodes. It leads to a severe headache and a sensation of pain right behind the eyes (3).
  • If you feel an extreme joint and muscle pain along with fever, it might be indicative of dengue fever.
  • Skin rash is a clear warning of dengue fever after viral fever. Suppose within 2-5 days of your fever, you experience skin rashes or any similar patches. In that case, it is a sure sign of dengue fever or malaria (4).
  • Increased fatigue, nausea, and vomiting signify dengue or malaria (5).
  • It also causes unusual febrile convulsions and massive body temperature fluctuations. (7).

Other Symptoms Might Include

Although symptoms like these are mild and temporary, serious problems can also develop. Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) has several symptoms. It causes hemorrhagic fever, liver enlargement, and complete circulatory system failure. In rare cases, it may cause severe strokes or even death (8). Before we look into what is the treatment for dengue, it is vital to know its causes and risk factors.

Dengue Fever: Causes and risk factors 

Dengue fever is a widespread mosquito-borne disease. Anyone of the four dengue viruses can result in this disease (9). When someone infected with the virus recovers, he becomes immune to that virus. But, relapsing from the same virus isn’t impossible. Chances of dengue shock syndrome increases in patients suffering from a relapse. Although there is only one cause of this fever, there are several risk factors.

  • If you live or travel in the tropical or sub-tropical areas, there is a high risk of contracting the dengue virus (10). Dengue fever viruses are more prevalent and widespread in certain regions. Cases of dengue-fever are more in India, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, etc.
  • Prior infections of the same viruses may lead to severe health conditions.

Dengue Fever: Its treatment and prevention 

There are many vaccines in the market approved by the World Health Organisation. These vaccines are quite efficient for the prevention of dengue fever. A recent one named Dengvaxia works for people between the ages of 9 and 45. But, the WHO still states that vaccines are not the most effective way to control or prevent dengue fever. Controlling mosquito breeding and its population is crucial (11). But, some diet for dengue patient also acts as an effective prevention method (12). For treating and preventing dengue fever, you can consider the following tips:

If you live or travel in the tropical or subtropical regions, make sure: 

  1. You stay in an air-conditioned house or have your windows sealed and netted. The mosquitoes carrying the dengue viruses are active from dawn to dusk, but they may bite at night.
  2. Wear protective clothing and use mosquito repellents. Wear full-sleeved clothes, socks, and shoes, to prevent the mosquito bites. Apply permethrin on your clothes and skin repellents concentrated with DEET.
  3. Reduce mosquito populations by clearing places and containers with stagnant water. Stagnant water surfaces are where these mosquitoes lay their eggs.
  4. If you are someone suffering from dengue fever, you would like to consider a diet for dengue patient (13). Apart from vaccines, a specific diet would help you battle dengue or malaria. Foods that help raise the blood platelet count are essential. Vegetables such as spinach, pumpkin, beet-root can trigger platelet-levels and purify your blood. Fruits and aloe vera rich in certain minerals that help tackle dengue.

Wrapping Up 

This article will help you identify what are the symptoms of dengue and malaria. It will also give you a synopsis of its causes and treatments. On average, 400 million dengue infections occur every year. So, spreading awareness about its prevention and treatment is vital.