Which Virus Can Cause Dengue, And What Are The Preventive Measures?

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus, which results in the severe flu-like condition. Dengue is spread by several species of female mosquitoes of the Aedes type, principally by aegypti and rarely by the Aedes albopictus mosquito.

Dengue virus belongs to the family Flaviviridae and is caused by a single-stranded RNA Flavivirus and is comprised of four different types of etiological agents, which include:

  • Dengue Virus 1 (DEN-1),
  • Dengue Virus 2 (DEN-2),
  • Dengue Virus 3 (DEN-3)
  • Dengue Virus 4 (DEN-4).

OTHER NAMES

  • Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever ((DHF)
  • Breakbone Fever
  • Dandy Fever
  • O’nyong-nyong Fever
  • Dengue shock syndrome (DSS)
  • Dengue-like Disease

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms vary based on the severity of the disease:

Mild dengue fever

  • Pain behind the eyes
  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle and joint ache
  • Rashes on body

Dengue hemorrhagic fever

  • Bleeding from nose or gums
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Blood in urine or stool
  • Cold/Clammy skin
  • Blood spots under the skin

Dengue shock syndrome

  • Severe bleeding
  • A sudden drop in blood pressure
  • Confusions

DIAGNOSIS

There are many lab tests used to diagnose the Dengue Virus.

Blood tests commonly used to diagnose dengue include complete blood counts, serology studies, and antibody titers.

TREATMENT

No specific treatment or vaccine is available for preventing dengue.

Painkillers with acetaminophen should be used for pain, and analgesics with aspirin should be avoided. Other recommendations include drinking lot of fluids, rest, and isolation in a mosquito-free environment to prevent the spread of the disease.

However, severe forms of the disease are treated with fluid replacement, oxygen therapy, and blood transfusions.

Recovery time is usually one to two weeks and longer for more severe cases. Patients gain immunity against the particular serotype after recovery from the infection.

 CONTROL/PREVENTION

  • Mosquito control by eliminating breeding sites and personal protection
  • Traveling during periods of minimal mosquito activity
  • Use mosquito repellants containing DEET or NNDB on skin and clothing
  • Complete clothing to avoid skin exposure
  • Use mosquito repellents, traps, and nets
  • Avoid being out at dawn, and early in the evening
  • Netting of doors and windows
  • Examine and remove stagnant water from the surroundings to avoid mosquito breeding

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