Dengue is the most widespread mosquito-borne infection in human beings, which in recent years has become a major international public health concern. Over the last 15 years, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the global incidence of dengue and its severe manifestations such as dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Dengue fever is a severe, flu-like illness with fever, headache and muscle and joint pains that affects children and adults, but seldom causes death.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication in about 1-3% of cases that begins with a sudden rise in temperature which usually continues for two to seven days and can be as high as 40-41°C. In moderate DHF cases, all signs and symptoms abate after the fever subsides. In severe cases, the patient’s condition may suddenly deteriorate after a few days of fever when the temperature drops, followed by signs of circulatory failure. With modern intensive supportive therapy, the fatality rates can be reduced to less than 1%.
How is Dengue spread?
Dengue is spread through the bite of an infected Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The mosquito gets the virus by biting an infected person. The first symptoms of the disease occur about 5-7 days after the infected bite. There is no way to tell if a mosquito is carrying the Dengue virus. Therefore, people must protect themselves from all mosquito bites.