is caused by a virus when bitten by infected mosquitos. The most effective way to protect yourself is to avoid mosquito bites.
Dengue (also known as dengue fever) is an infection caused by a virus. People are infected when bitten by infected mosquitos. Dengue is not spread from person to person. It is common in warm, wet areas of the world. Outbreaks occur in the rainy season. Dengue is rare in the United States, but has been reported in some southern states.
Symptoms include a high fever, headaches, joint and muscle pain, vomiting, and a rash.
There is no specific treatment for dengue fever. Most people recover within 2 weeks. Until then, drinking lots of fluids, resting and taking non-aspirin fever-reducing medicines might help. People with the more severe forms of dengue usually need to go to the hospital and get IV fluids.
There is no vaccine for preventing dengue. The most effective protective measures are those that avoid mosquito bites. To lower your risk when traveling in dengue-prone countries wear protective clothing and insect repellent.
- High fever
- Joint and muscle pain
In some cases, dengue turns into dengue hemorrhagic fever, which causes bleeding from your nose, gums, or under your skin. It can also become dengue shock syndrome, which causes massive bleeding and shock. These forms of dengue are life-threatening.
Four different dengue viruses are known to cause dengue fever. Dengue fever occurs when a person is bitten by a mosquito that is infected with the virus.
A diagnosis can usually be made if:
- the patient is exhibiting the characteristic symptoms of dengue and
- the patient has recently traveled to dengue endemic areas and
- the patient recalls being bitten by mosquitos
If your healthcare provider requires more information to make a diagnosis, laboratory tests may be required to diagnose this condition. Tests include:
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- dengue IgM and IgG serological tests
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for dengue virus types
Living With Dengue
To lower your risk when traveling in dengue-prone countries:
- Wear insect repellent with DEET
- Wear clothes that cover your arms, legs and feet
- Close unscreened doors and windows
There is no specific treatment for dengue. Most people with dengue recover within 2 weeks.
Until then, patients must stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, resting and taking non-aspirin fever-reducing medicines.
For more severe cases, intravenous fluids (IV) and hospitalization are usually required.