Dengue and Dengue Fever

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What is Dengue Fever?

Dengue fever is a disease caused by mosquitoes infected by the dengue virus and is prevalent in the tropical regions of the world. It is a painful, disabling disease, with the severity of pain similar to that of bones breaking - hence it is also known as ‘Breakbone’ fever.  Dengue fever affects close to 400 million people worldwide each year, with about 40% of the world’s population being at risk of exposure and infection.  Since dengue fever is caused by a virus, it cannot be cured by antibiotics and currently there is no known medicine or vaccine to treat it.

What are the Symptoms of Dengue Fever?

The major symptoms of dengue fever include sudden high fever (as high as 40 °C or 104 °F), chills, severe headache (usually behind the eyes), muscle ache and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, flushed skin and in some cases a skin rash similar to measles.  Dengue fever symptoms may be mild initially and mistaken for a flu, cold or a viral infection. In rare cases dengue fever may develop into a more life threatening form known as dengue hemorrhagic fever, which results in bleeding, decreased blood platelet count or thrombocytopenia, blood plasma leakage or the more fatal dengue shock syndrome, which causes dangerously low blood pressure.

Dengue and Dengue fever

How is Dengue Fever Caused and Spread?

Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever spread from human-to-mosquito-to-human by the bite of mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus. The dengue virus belongs to a group known as Flavivirus and can be typically divided into four viral serotypes, DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4, which are closely related but differ in their antigens. Many species of mosquitoes under the genus Aedes transmit dengue; in particular the Aedes aegypti species is most commonly associated with it and the major cause of dengue transmission. This species of mosquito breeds in stagnant waters and usually bites during daylight hours. The virus circulates in the blood for 2-7 days after a person is infected, during which time a mosquito biting the person would acquire it and in turn bite and infect another person.

The symptoms typically develop anywhere between 3 to 14 days but usually start within 4 to 7 days of infection, and may last from 7 or 10 days. The dengue virus doesn’t have any detrimental effect on the mosquito that carries it, and the mosquito remains infected for life. Dengue disease is spread when a mosquito bites an infected person and becomes a carrier of the dengue virus. The mosquito then bites another healthy person and thus spreads the disease causing a possible epidemic breakout. A person infected with a single type of dengue virus serotype out of the four, develops resistance to only that particular virus. However, they become much more susceptible to infection by the other three serotypes.

Dengue Infection Cycle

Dengue Fever Complications

Dengue fever may sometimes develop into more dangerous forms such as dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome, which may lead to the development of life-threatening symptoms. Some of the complications caused by the disease include:
  • Severe dehydration

  • Continuous bleeding

  • Low platelets, due to which clotting of blood doesn’t occur

  • Blood pressure may go dangerously low

  • Enlargement of liver and liver damage

  • Bradycardia (heart beating less than 60 counts per minute)

  • Damage to the brain due to bleeding, seizures or encephalitis

  • Damage to the immune system

Diagnosis of Dengue Fever

Diagnosis of dengue is considered when sudden high fever is accompanied by severe body, muscle or joint pain. It is important to be evaluated when a person develops fever within two weeks of being in the tropics or sub-tropics. Dengue often causes symptoms that are similar to other diseases such as flu, measles, and typhoid fever etc. Hence investigations are always performed to exclude other disease conditions. Usually the blood of the patient is tested for the presence of antibodies and virus. Diagnosis of dengue infection can be done by the following methods:
  • Isolating the virus by collecting serum sample from patients within 5 days of appearance of symptoms

  • Detection of specific antibodies can be done by collecting serum within 6 days after onset of symptoms. The serum is tested for specific anti-dengue antibodies by Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Titres of IgM and IgG antibodies increase four-fold in serum sample

  • Using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) for detecting viral genomic sequence from Serum or Cerebro Spinal Fluid (CSF) samples collected from the patient, which is more expensive and complicated

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)

In the case of more serious complications such as dengue hemorrhagic fever, the following diagnosis must be performed:
  • A tourniquet test is to be conducted, where a tourniquet is tied to the arm and if blood blotches tend to appear beyond the tourniquet, the patient may be suffering from increased bleeding, which may indicate Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

  • A decrease in platelet count, also known as Thrombocytopenia occurs when platelet count falls below 100,000.  Normal platelet counts  are between 150,000 to 400,000.  A decreased platelet count may be due to dengue fever.

  • An increase in hematocrit i.e., the volume percentage of Red Blood Cells (RBS), by 20% could be another indicator as it occurs due to a rise in the vascular permeability of the plasma. Signs of plasma leakage appear as increased fluid accumulation in the chest and abdominal cavity known as pleural effusion or ascites respectively.

Treatment for Dengue Fever

There are actually no known antiviral drugs or injections available for the cure of dengue. However, the disease can be treated with plenty of supportive care and treatment that would eventually help save the patient’s life. Dengue is characterized by fever and intense body ache. The fever can be treated with antipyretic drugs such as paracetamol and the body ache can be treated with analgesics that help relieve the pain. Drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided as they may increase the risk of hemorrhage. The patient can also be treated with natural home remedies such as papaya leaves, kiwi and other food items that have been proven to help in the increase of platelet count, which becomes lower during dengue.

In the case of more severe forms of dengue, such as dengue hemorrhagic disease or dengue shock syndrome, the patient must be admitted to a hospital immediately and given proper care. The mortality rate of a dengue patient without hospitalisation is higher by about 50 percent. Treatments such as intravenous fluid replacement should be administered to these patients to prevent shock. Patients should drink plenty of fluids, as dehydration is common among those affected with Dengue. Vaccines for all of the serotypes of dengue are currently being developed, and may when finally available, be the most effective way to cure the disease. 

Prevention of Dengue Fever

As there are no injections or vaccines available to cure dengue, prevention by following certain basic steps is really  the most effective way to fight the disease. Since the only way to get dengue is from a mosquito bite, the best way to prevent it is to avoid mosquitoes and prevent mosquito bites. This is particularly important if a dengue epidemic is underway in your city or town. Some ways to prevent dengue are described below:
  • Mosquito breed in stagnant water. Hence it is advisable to avoid stagnant water and pools on the ground, in flowerpots, buckets, barrels etc., in and around the neighborhood and the house. Water should always be stored in closed containers. Stagnant pools of water on the floor should be mopped up. 

  • Bleaching powder may be used in water sources that are not meant for drinking, as it will prevents the development of mosquito eggs.

  • Avoid being bitten my mosquitoes in the first place. Mosquitoes bite us as they require the protein present in human blood to produce eggs. To prevent being bitten, keep mosquitoes away by using mosquito repellents, whether indooors or outdoors.

  • To avoid mosquitoes it is best to live inside a well screened or air conditioned house. If this is not possible, mosquito nets should be attached to all windows.

  • Another way to prevent mosquito bites is to wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, socks, and shoes or boots when spending time outdoors.

  • Mosquitoes are more active at dawn, dusk or early evening. It is therefore advisable to avoid being outdoors during these times to decrease the chances of being bitten by a dengue carrying mosquito.

  • Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colored clothing - therefore it is better to wear bright and light colored clothes.

  • Avoid strong perfumes or scented body lotions, as mosquitoes are drawn to strong odours.

Prevention of dengue


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During the month of September , 2015, news reports suggest that number of Dengue patients is on the increase abnormally in northern India, particularly Delhi, Punjab and Haryana. While some patients have died recently, news reports indicate that fear among people of the Dengue spreading more are increasing. In this regard, this Panchkula based Vedic astrology writer would like to let readers know that a precise hint was given in the prediction in article – “ Months of substantial concern for India in next year 2015.”- published in online magazine at as early as last year on 23rd October 2014. The following highlights of the prediction which could be construed to mean Dengue fever as well are notable from the article : [1]. The affected places predicted were northern or Eastern India specifying Delhi, Punjab and Haryana.(2). The planetary impacts were predicted likely to operate during second half of 2015. (3). It was predicted that massive floods, landslides, earthquake or epidemics could perhaps visit. Again said : Mystery epidemics or health hazards may be upsetting. (4). Last but not least, it was added : “ In the end, astrology suggests certain trends which can be either mitigated or softened by timely appropriate human effort.”
kushalkumar Tuesday, September 15, 2015
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SAM-PHARMA Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Hi all, if u have a fever in this season get your blood test done for dengue, ASAP.If fever accompanied with pain between eyes, head ache, vomiting etc are symptoms of the disease. Far as i have known there is no medicine except the home concoctions that can save you the agony of Drip/ hospitals transfusions etc: 1] Juice extracted from 2 papaya leaves twice a day. 2) Goats milk [fresh and not boiled/ just filtered) approx 250 ml twice a day. 3) To take care of the fever you can have the Crocin/ Tylenol that the doc prescribes. These concoctions are life savers, when medicine seems to have no answer.
vishal_noida Monday, September 30, 2013
Hi my friend suffering from sickness she feel pain in body, and also feeling cold. Can u tell me this symptoms are dengue or normal fever.
shaan27 Thursday, September 26, 2013
hello my wife is suffering from dengue and has been sick since last 6 days she is hospitalized right now what medication should be taken and what time is taken to cure it. plz reply
ghaley Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Dengue is a very dangerous disease; however one can get cured through proper treatments. I had suffered from Dengue a couple of years back. It took me about two weeks to recover completely.
Advancells Thursday, August 15, 2013
hi iv suffered from dengue 2 weeks ago. there no medicine given to me. only antacid for the stiomach taken every morning. My doctor advised me to drink more water. It may be no medical exsplanation but eating 10pcs each day of quail eggs help me improve my platelet. taua taua leaves also is a big factor for me to be able to recover.
timothyglen Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Hi, i m working as a cop in kerala. I feel a little bit of pain on the back of my eyes for the last two three hours and i have got some temperature too. Also i feel some headache. But there is no join pain..... Is it the symptom of so called Dengue or because of not taking proper rest at night??????
AnoopMathew Thursday, June 27, 2013
One of my acquaintances is suffering from Dengue and is having blood replacement every day from last 4 weeks. He also get vomiting and his blood platelets start going down after 4 hours of supply of blood. What could be the treatment of this state. Please reply ASAP. Thanks a lot in advance.
bluemoon_67 Wednesday, May 01, 2013
give him papaya leaf juice, kiwi fruit and mosambi juice. basically keep giving small quantities of these juices every 30 mins.
deepak81sh Wednesday, September 18, 2013
don't give aspirin to a suspected dengue patient. it is an a thrombolytic agent, meaning, it is a drug used to prevent blood clots as in patients suffering from hypertensive diseases. in dengue hemorrhagic fever, the part of the blood called platelets, gets depleted, these platelets are important. why? because they aid in the clotting mechanism. if you take aspirin which is a lytic agent, the platelets are prevented from clotting. if the blood doesn't clot, then, there will be bleeding from the nose, the gums or the stomach.
oldbamboo Saturday, January 05, 2013
My husband was hospitalized due to dengue. After 5days, his blood platelet count back to normal with no fever at all. After a day he was discharged from the hospital, we noticed again that he has rashes in his body, arms and legs but he doesn't feel anything, no fever, has appetite and no muscle pain. Can I have your advise please?
soccastillo Wednesday, December 26, 2012
rpg490 Monday, April 08, 2013
Today morning we came to know that our daughter 2 years old is infected by dengue So she is admitted in hospital there any peculiar medicine ???? and pls tell how it will spread.....and how to prevent this in future.....
kailasampg1821 Monday, December 03, 2012
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