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Dengue Fever: Cause, Symptoms & Best Treatment Available

Dengue Fever: Cause, Symptoms & Best Treatment Available

by Hibah Ahmad · December 28, 2020

Do you want to know about dengue and how it spreads?

It is an infectious disease most prevalent in tropical and sub tropical areas of world and it might result in fever, headaches and pain throughout your body.

Let’s have a quick look on its symptoms, cause, treatment and much more in the contents below.


Dengue Virus

Dengue virus is the most prevailing cause of dengue fever.

The spread of the virus is due to the bite of a female mosquito belonging to the species Aedes. Aedes Mosquitos or the yellow fever mosquito spreads this virus. It is also known as Aedes Aegypti.

It can be recognized by white marks on its legs and a marking in the form of a lyre on the upper surface of its thorax, according to The Disease Control and Pevention.

Let’s have a close view of its meaning and the way it is transmitted.

Mosquito infecting human blood cells

Dengue Fever Meaning in English

What is dengue fever?

It has its origin in West Indian Spanish. Moreover, it was initially reported in monkeys but transmitted to human beings some 800 years ago.

It was confined to Africa and Southeast Asia until outbreaks of dengue fever to other related regions like Latin America in the mid of 20th century, according to the Centers for disease control.

If we look at the literal meaning of dengue it means breakbone fever because it involves pain in joints and skin rash all over your body.

How is Dengue Transmitted?

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of a female mosquito as it becomes a carrier of the virus after taking blood from a person already affected by it.

These infected mosquitoes are ready to infect another person after one week in the same living areas and they are usually daytime feeders.

However, dengue can not be directly transmitted from one person to another but people with dengue cause the spread by traveling to other countries and these infected people can transmit the virus to other mosquitoes.

Meanwhile, the virus circulates in the blood system of humans and replicates there.

Dengue Fever Mosquito

These mosquitos can fly up to 400 meters but they preferably live closer to human habitats.

Dengue mosquitoes lay eggs inside and around your house in water-filled containers or literally anything with standing water. However, the eggs can live through extremely dry conditions but they hatch when in contact with water.

Whereas adult mosquitoes choose to live indoors or in dark places to get protection from wind, rain, and other conditions.


Dengue Fever Symptoms

Why is it important to know the symptoms of dengue?

Because it can help us taking better precautions and early treatment before it causes more damage to your body cells.

Dengue is also referred as breakbone fever which indicates the presence of extreme pain in bones and muscles as its basic symptoms.

Let us take a quick look at other symptoms related to it.

Signs and symptoms of high fever, chills and body rash

Common Symptoms

Most of the people might not even experience any signs and symptoms of dengue and even if they do, they might confuse it with normal flu or corona virus.

Dengue is characterized by the occurrence of any two of the following along with high fever (40°C/104°F),

  • Severe headache
  • Pain in eye-sockets
  • Extreme pain in muscle and joints
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swelling in glands
  • Body rash
  • Malaise

Severe Dengue Fever

This involves a critical phase that starts after 3-7 days of onset of disease.

It is a deadly complication resulting from leakage of plasma, built-up fluid, problems in breathing, extreme loss of blood, or organ dysfunction. Doctors term it as Dengue Shock Syndrome and can be life-threatening.

About 1 in 20 people having dengue acquire severe dengue.

The signs and symptoms for severe dengue include,

These symptoms should be carefully observed for 24 to 48 hours in order to avoid the risk for further complications and even death in severe cases.

Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

Some people can develop the even more severe form of it called dengue hemorrhagic fever.

It involves the same symptoms as normal dengue fever but as the fever goes down, they might notice other symptoms like,

  • Increased nausea and vomiting
  • Extreme pain in abdominal region
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Severe bleeding resulting in immense blood loss

If it is not treated on time, it may result in high amount of blood loss causing drop in blood pressure to the extent that it causes death.

Dengue Fever Rash

It results in the formation of flat red rash all over your body after 2 to 5 days of infection.

However, in some cases a second rash appears at later stage which looks very much like measles.

Infected people can develop high skin sensitivity and uncomfortableness.

Blood in Urine

Severe dengue causes blood loss and in some cases may result in bloody urine.

Blood in urine, hematuria, the appearance of blood to red color.

Causes of Dengue Fever

There are 4 dengue viruses or DENV that can lead to the development of dengue fever.

They are all spread by the same species of mosquito, Aedes Aegypti, and rarely by Aedes Albopictus mosquito.

These viruses jumped from monkeys to humans from 100 to 800 years ago, according to CDC, however, it remained a minor problem until the middle of the 20th century.

The mosquito Aedes Aegypti originated in Africa, however, today it is found in tropical areas around the world, particularly in and around the area of the human population.

Moreover, the virus transmits from an infected mosquito to a human.

When a mosquito bites a person who is already infected with this virus, and the virus then passes on when the mosquito bites another person.

It is also possible to have this fever more than once, however, a second infection carries a higher risk of developing a harsher form.



Dengue Treatment

What is the most effective treatment for dengue?

What are the multiple ways we can control its symptoms?

Are all these questions arising in your mind?

Let us look at the answers to these questions and explore its treatment options.

Treatment for dengue fever


In order to diagnose dengue fever, the doctor may draw your blood check for antibodies or viral infection. The diagnosis highly depends on the time after symptoms appear.

According to WHO the patient must be tested through following in their first week of illness,

  • Virological tests. It helps in detecting the elements of the virus in blood with the help of blood tests.
  • Serological methods. It helps in detecting antibodies produced in response to a certain virus.

Can Dengue be Cured?

There is no particular procedure solely to treat dengue fever but if you feel the symptoms of dengue then you can take medicines to lessen the severity of your symptoms.

Moreover to prevent this disease wear long-sleeved shirts, cover the water bodies in your home, keep your home clean, ec.

Best Medicine for Dengue

There is no medicine yet to treat dengue but you can take over-the-counter (OTC) drugs including acetaminophen which can help reduce the pain and fever caused by dengue.

But dengue also causes excessive bleeding so, avoid taking OTC pain killers including, aspirin, ibuprofen and other related drugs.

The doctor should carry out your physical examination and recommend you to have plenty of rest and excessive intake of fluids.

But if the condition gets worse, call for medical help as the doctors and nurses have experience in saving lives through closely monitoring the effects and progression of the illness.

Taking medical help reduces the risk for mortality from 20% to 1%.

How Long Does it Take to Recover from Dengue

The symptoms of dengue typically last from 2 to 7 days and most people recover from it with in a week after getting infected. Stay in rooms with air conditioning appliances to reduce the chances of high fever.

But if the symptoms get severe, then it is advised to take medical help to monitor the condition more closely.

Dengue and Platelet Count

The platelet count of a healthy person is somewhere between 150,000 to 250,000 per 1ml blood.

About 80% to 90% of people with dengue have reduced platelet count ranging as low as 100,000 per ml but 10% to 20% people have platelet count as low as 20,000 or below per ml of blood.



Dengue Fever Treatment at Home

What are the simple and easy home remedies for treating dengue fever?

It involves healthy food intake to help boost your immune system.

Some of the helpful home remedies are discussed in this section.

Home remedies to treat dengue

1. Plenty Water Intake

Dengue may often result into sweating which can lead to dehydration. So, to ensure that you don’t have reduced fluids in your body, take plenty of water during dengue fever.

Drinking water also helps in reducing the symptoms of pain and headaches.

2. Papaya Juice

Papaya juice extracted from its leaves are natural cure for dengue fever.

These leaves have certain nutrients and organic substances which play a significant role in increasing the number of platelets.

3. Neem Leaves

Neem leaves prove to be very useful in treating a number of diseases due to its medicinal properties. So chewing neem leaves or drinking its juice can help increase blood cell and platelet count.

4. Orange Juice

Oranges contain antioxidants and they are rich in vitamins which can be very helpful in treating the secondary effects caused by the dengue virus.



Dengue Fever Vaccine

Is there any vaccination for dengue?

Yes, there is but in certain countries and there is also age limit for its use.

Let us look at in detail below.

Vaccine for dengue

Currently, there is a vaccine for dengue that is licensed by Dengvaxia and it is available in few countries.

However, it can be given only to people with ages ranging between 9-45 years.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends to give the vaccine to people only who have previously contracted the virus.

If it is not taken into consideration while taking vaccine, then it can result in the development of severe dengue otherwise.

Click here more details on the concept and use of vaccination.

Dengue fever can prove to be a life threatening disease.

Therefore, it is important to keep a close eye on the symptoms related to it and seek medical help as soon as the symptoms get worse.

Hope you got every answer to your questions related to dengue fever in this article. Don not forget to leave feedback and suggestions.

Let me know in the comments section below that which part proved to be the most helpful for you.

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