Dengue fever is categorized as a flu-like illness that is given to humans through getting mosquito bites. For children and infants, they may have small flu-like symptoms. However, adults tend to get more flu-like symptoms that are major and more life-threatening. Those who suspect that they have dengue fever should seek medical attention.
Causes of Dengue Fever
There four viruses of dengue fever. Infected mosquitos are how they are carried to humans. The bite will allow the virus to enter into the bloodstream and then this spreads into the body. The virus is what causes dengue fever.
Risk Factors with Dengue Fever
In most cases, dengue fever is only found in tropical or subtropical areas. Thus, the areas that dengue fever are known in are:
- Southeast Asia
- Middle East
- In the Caribbean
- Central and South America areas
- Central and South Pacific
- Sometimes in Florida and in Texas
Those who have symptoms of dengue fever can show a variety of symptoms. For those who have their first infection of this, the symptoms may be mild. In most cases, a person is going to have a high fever, along with at least two of the following symptoms:
- Eye pain
- Pain in the muscles or bones
- Red or purple spots on the skin
- Minor bleeding from the nose or from the gums
- Bruises easily
- Vomiting or nausea
In most cases, the fever is going to leave in 3 to 7 days. This is when signs of infection are going to increase, these signs include:
- Persistent vomiting
- Severe pain in the abdomen
- Black stool
- Blood in urine
- Bleeding from the gums or nose that cannot be controlled
- Having trouble breathing
- Pale, cold or clammy skin
- Feeling light-headed
In cases of severe infection, this can lead to organ failure or shock.
Diagnosing Dengue Fever
When going to a doctor, they will first look at your symptoms and your medical history. They will need to do a physical exam, and then look at any places that you may have travelled that dengue fever could be present. Blood tests are going to be taken in order to look for:
- Dengue virus antibodies: This shows that the virus was recognized by the body and is attempting to fight this off
- Present of the virus in the bloodstream
Treating Dengue Fever
In many cases, a doctor may refer you to a specialist. Unfortunately, there is no course of treatment that is meant to cure dengue fever. Instead, medications are provided to help with the body fighting off this virus. The treatment may include:
- Bedrest as your body is going to require rest to recuperate
- Hydrate the body in order to replace the fluids that may be lost while fighting the virus. IV fluids can be used if the person cannot drink enough.
- Medications to help with the pain and fever such as acetaminophen.