Dengue Fever / Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
Dengue is the most important mosquito-transmitted viral disease in terms of morbidity and mortality 'Dengue' is a homonym for the African 'ki denga pepo'.
Dengue fever usually affects people living in tropical regions and it manifests with a sudden episode of high fever.
More serious form of Dengue fever is called Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS) and affects a small proportion of patients who are affected by dengue fever. It is believed that there is a secondary infection by a different dengue virus serotype that leads to the development of DHF.
In Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever there is leakage of the plasma and its escape from the blood stream leading to bleeding. Lack of blood clotting is also observed. About 20-30% who suffer from DHF develop shock and this is known as Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS).
The severity and risk factors for DHF depends upon:
Strain and serotype of the infecting virus
Age of the patient
Immune status of the patient
Genetic predisposition of the patient
DHF is a more severe form of dengue, which can be fatal if unrecognized and not properly treated.
Dengue is endemic in 112 countries of the world and affects almost 50 to 100 million people every year with over 500,000 reported cases of DHF/DSS.
Fewer dengue cases have been generally reported in the black population than in other races. Fewer cases of DHF/DSS have been reported in men than in women.