Dengue fever is a tropical viral infectious disease caused by dengue virus. It is also called as breakbone fever as usually targets the bones. It is mainly transmitted by a mosquito of genus Aedes principally A. aegypti.
- According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is estimated that approximately 2.5 billion people or 20% of the total population are living at an area where risk of transmission of dengue virus is maximum.
- Now this infection is endemic in 100 countries including Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and the Caribbean.
- According to the World Health Organization, every year almost 50 to 100 million people suffer infection with dengue fever and 2200 deaths occur as a result of this infection.
- It is further estimated by WHO that 500 000 people require hospitalization due to this deadly disease each year.
Dengue fever remains asymptomatic in 80% of the cases and rest of them may suffer following sign and symptoms:
- Fever (40°C/ 104°F)
- Back pain
- Muscle ache
- Joint pain
- Mouth and nose bleeding
- Altered level of consciousness
- Pleural effusion
- GIT bleeding
Dengue fever is transmitted by an infected mosquito names as A. aegypti. The incubation period of virus is 4–10 days. Infected humans are the carrier of this virus where it undergoes multiplication and proliferation.
Aedes aegypti is a day time feeder and commonly located in urban areas. It usually bites during early morning and in the evening. In Asia the second vector of dengue virus is Aedes albopictus. It can also transmit via blood products and organ donation.
Dengue fever can be easily diagnosed on the basis of symptoms and physical examination. Following test can also be conducted for accurate clinical judgment.
- Complete blood count (Level of WBC and Platelets reduces)
- Tourniquet test
- Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
- Viral antigen detection
- Specific tests for dengue virus-specific antibodies (IgM, and IgG)
According to the WHO there is no specific treatment of this disease. Following supportive treatment can be done.
- Oral rehydration therapy
- Administration of Paracetamol but avoid the use of NSAIDs as Aspirin and Ibuprofen as they can cause hemorrhage
- Blood transfusion if vital signs are unstable
- Packed red blood cell and whole blood is recommended
As yet there is no vaccination available for dengue fever but efforts are being made to discover effective vaccination.
There is only one method to control or prevent this deadly infection that is to stop its transmission via mosquito. This could be done by
- Dispose solid wastes properly
- Remove man made habitants
- Domestic water storage containers should be covered and cleaned on weekly basis
- Wear long-sleeved clothes and insecticide treated materials, coils and vaporizers
- Apply insecticide spray during outbreaks
- Monitoring and surveillance of vectors should be carried out to determine effectiveness of control interventions.
Copyright 2012 Medimoon.com. All rights reserved. No part of this site can be reproduced without our written permission.