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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Dengue Fever: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment , Vaccine

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Dengue Fever

Human beings are affected by so many
diseases in the world and one of them is Dengue. This disease is vector borne disease and transmitted by the Aegypti mosquito. The dengue fever is caused by the Dengue Virus (DENV).

It is said that around the 17th century onward the slaves were transported from South Africa to different countries like Australia, America and some part of the Europe and the southern Asia. The Aegypti mosquitoes which only existed there at that time, dispersed throughout the world by means of slaves transportation. Afterwards, people there were having dengue-like illness which is later on to be known as Dengue Fever.

According to the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) which comes under the ministry of Health & family welfare of India reported 1,57,315 cases and 166 deaths in 2019. 4.2 million Cases and 4032 deaths were reported worldwide in 2019 according to the World Health Organization (WHO). 

Causes for Dengue Fever 

The primary factor for the Dengue fever is Aegypti mosquitoes. They carry the virus and transmit it not only from human to human by biting them but also in their own ancestry from where the virus is further transmitted. Only female Aegypti mosquitoes bite human beings as they require blood to mature and lay their eggs. In the rainy season they become more active and multiply themselves as they need stagnant water to lay eggs to be hatched. Due to this reason, the tropical area is most affected by dengue fever and countries in central Africa, many countries in south-east Asia and some countries in America continent come under it. 

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

When a person is infected with dengue virus, it usually takes 3 to 10 days for incubation and in this period the person has symptoms which is similar to flu. During this period the patient has high fever (40°C or 104°F) and with at least one of the following:

  • Headache 
  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Joint, Muscle and Bone pain
  • Fatigue restlessness 
  • Pain behind eyes 
  • Dengue Rashes 
  • Swelling in glands

 As the time goes the patient starts recovering after 7 days and fever starts going down but in some cases it might be the symptom for the severity of this disease. At this point, one should be cautious and take notice of the following symptoms which might lead the patient to the severity of the Dengue. 

  • Severe abdominal pain 
  • Frequent Vomiting 
  • Vomiting with Blood 
  • Bleeding Gums 
  • Rapid Breathing 

In this case patient need special medical attention and should be hospitalized immediately.


The doctor might recommend among the following mentioned tests if he feels that any or many among them should be done:
  • Platelet Count: This test lets the doctor know the platelets' count in the body which should be in the range of 1,50,000 to 4,00,000 per micro-liter in the healthy person otherwise it goes down. Although this test gives information with respect to the illness but it does not specify the disease.
  • Dengue NS1 Antigen: This test should be done within 5 days when the symptoms appear.
  • Dengue RNA PCR Test: this test should be done within 5 days after appearing the symptom.
  • Immunoglobulin M (IgM): This test should be done after 7 days. 
  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG): This test should be done after 15 days. 

Prevention of dengue  

It is always advisable to keep away from the mosquitoes and for the same there need to be taken several following measurements:
  • We should not let the rainy water deposit in the junk items like empty can and put the lid on water containers where mosquitoes can breed. 
  • In the rainy season, it is always advisable to wear a full sleeved shirt or T-shirt otherwise apply some mosquito repellents on the body.
  • Use mosquito repellent at home. 
  • It is advisable to regularly change the water of your Air Cooler which is common in South-east Asia’s countries. 


Although there is no particular medicine for the dengue fever yet doctors prescribe among the available medicines according to the patient's condition. It is highly recommended to take medicine only under the doctor’s supervision and avoid taking aspirin as it may aggravate bleeding. 

What you can do is take a complete rest and take plenty of water or other hydrant substance and coconut water is best of them which not only re-hydrate you but also provide minerals and energy to fight against dengue. 

Dengue Vaccine

A vaccine called Dengvaxia has been approved, licensed and available in some counties for the people of age group between 9 and 45 years old. It was developed by Sanofi Pasteur, headquarter in Lyon, France. WHO recommends that only those people who previously infected with the virus, will be vaccinated as the vaccine has some adverse effect on the people who never have dengue as per the report published by Sanofi Pasteur in 2017.
In India, vaccines for dengue fever are still in research mode. 

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