Dengue fever, also known as breakbone fever, is a mosquito-borne infection that causes a severe flu-like illness. There are four different viruses that can cause denguefever, all of which spread by a certain type of mosquito. Dengue can vary from mild to severe; the more severe forms include dengue shock syndrome and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Patients who develop the more serious forms of dengue fever usually need to be hospitalized.
There are currently no vaccines for Dengue fever. The best way to prevent the disease is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes altogether. Although there is no certain treatment for Dengue, it can be treated as long as it is caught before developing into dengue shock syndrome or dengue hemorrhagic fever.
There are up to 100 million cases of dengue fever worldwide every year; the most common occurrences are in urban parts of subtropical and tropical areas, such as Central and South America, parts of Africa, parts of Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific . Dengue is just as prevalent in urban districts of its range as in rural areas (unlike malaria).
According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
* Approximately 2.5 billion people, or two-fifths of the world's population, are now at risk from dengue. * The disease is now endemic in over 100 countries.
* Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children in some Asian countries. * In 2007, there were over 890,000 reported cases of dengue in the Americas, of which 26,000 cases were DHF. * Dengue infection rates among people who have not been previously exposed to the virus are commonly 40% to 50% during epidemics, but may sometimes reach 80% to 90%. * Approximately half-a-million people with DHF are hospitalized each year, of whom many are children. About 2.5% of these patients die. * DHF fatality reads may exceed 20% if untreated. If there is access to medical care with health care professionals trained in treating DHF, the death rate may be less than 1%. According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary:
Dengue is "A disease of many tropic and subtropic regions that can occur epidemically; caused by dengue virus, a member of the family Flaviviridae" What are the signs and symptoms of Dengue Fever?
A symptom is something the patient feels or reports, while a sign is something that other people, including the doctor detects. A headache may be an example of a symptom, while a rash may be an example of a sign.
As there are different severities of dengue fever, the symptoms can vary.
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* Body rash that can disappear and then reappear
* High fever
* Intense headache
* Pain behind the eyes
* Vomiting and feeling nauseous
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) - symptoms during onset may be mild, but gradually worsen after a number of days. DHF can result in death if not treated in time. Mild dengue fever symptoms may occur in DHF, as well as the ones listed below: * Bleeding from your mouth/gums
* Clammy skin
* Considerably damaged lymph and blood vessels
* Internal bleeding, which can result in black vomit and feces (stools) * Lower number of platelets in blood - these are the cells that help clot your blood * Sensitive stomach
* Small blood spots under your skin...
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