Dengue infection – is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitos. Dengue infection appears like flu illness dengue fever, and sometimes leads to the development of serious complication named dengue severe. The dengue virus is a single stranded RNA virus belonging to the flaviviridae family.
During last ten years, the global frequency of dengue has increased dramatically. Currently, the risk of the disease is subject to about half the world's population. Dengue is located in tropical and subtropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and suburban areas. Severe dengue is the most common cause of severe illness and death among children in some Asian and Latin American countries.
There is no special treatment for dengue, but thanks to early detection and access to proper medical care mortality rates can be kept below 1%.
Dengue prevention and control of the disease depends on effectivity of actions against carriers of the disease, which include personal protection, sustainable vector control and chemical control.
The disease is widespread in the tropics, and local differences in the degree of risk depends on rainfall, temperature and spontaneous urbanization.
There are four serotypes of dengue virus: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4. After recovery from an infection caused by one of these serotypes, patient gets immunity to particular serotype for all life. Nevertheless, the immunity to other serotypes after recovery is only temporal.
Dengue fever is painful mosquito-borne disease caused by dengue family viruses. It usually appears after incubation period after the bite of infected mosquito and lasts for 2-7 days. Symptoms of dengue fever include:
- severe joint, muscle and bones pain
- pain behind eyes
- swollen lymph nodes
- skin rash
Severe dengue (hemorrhagic fever) is fatal infection that affects most Asian and American countries. This critical phase takes place around 3-7 days. Hemorrhagic fever can include such symptoms as bleeding and a drop in blood pressure which can lead to dengue shock syndrome or death. The other signs and symptoms of severe dengue are:
- severe abdominal pain
- pain in muscles, joints and bones
- bleeding gums
- vomiting bleeding
- rapid breathing
- acute fever
- rashes on the skin
Dengue virus can affect anyone, but more sensitive are people with weak immune system.
The main carrier of dengue is mosquito Aedes aegypti. The virus can be transmitted to people by the bite of infected female mosquitoes. An infected mosquito is capable to be a vector of the virus for all its life.
The second carrier of the virus is infected humans who are a source of dengue for uninfected mosquitoes. Patients with dengue can pass the infection (within 4-12 days) via Aedes mosquitoes after the first symptoms appeared.
Diagnosis of dengue
Doctors may use the following actions to diagnose a dengue infection: check blood pressure, look at your skin, eyes, glands, take a chest X-ray.
Also, he/she may perform blood tests to check for the viruses or antibodies (IgG or IgM).
There are no vaccines to protect people against dengue. However, in the development of vaccines against this infection has started significant progress: researchers develop three tetravalent live attenuated vaccines and 3 other vaccines.
Prevention and control of dengue infection
There are some rules related to dengue virus that can protect you from infection if you follow them:
Prevent access of mosquitos to the places where they can leave their eggs by environmental control.
Utilize solid waste, and remove artificial man-made habitats.
Store domestic water in closed containers and once per week wash them.
Use appropriate insecticides for water containers stored outdoors.
Use personal protective equipment such as window, mosquito nets, long-sleeved cloth, insecticide-treated materials, spirals and evaporators.
Improve the participation and mobilization of individual communities for a sustainable vector control.
Use insecticides for spraying if the infection appears in your community.
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