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Mosquito Diseases - Dengue Fever

What is dengue fever?
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness that is temporarily incapacitating, but rarely fatal.

Dengue Fever SymtpomsThe main carriers of the disease include the yellow fever mosquito, and the Asian tiger mosquito. These mosquito species live mostly in the tropical regions of the world.

A mosquito only becomes infected with the disease if it bites an infected human within the first three days of the illness. After eight to eleven days of incubation within the mosquito, the virus can be transmitted to another individual. The virus is injected into the victim’s skin through tiny droplets of the mosquito’s saliva. The mosquito remains infected with dengue for the span of its life.

There are two types of dengue fever:

  • Dengue fever which manifests itself as a flu-like illness.
  • Dengue hemorrhagic fever which is a severe, often fatal, complication of dengue fever.

What are the symptoms?
Dengue fever is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

Dengue hemorrhagic fever has the same above symptoms; however, the blood vessels start to leak and cause bleeding from the nose, mouth, and gums. Without prompt treatment, the blood vessels can collapse, causing shock to the system (dengue shock syndrome).

Dengue hemorrhagic fever is fatal in about 5% of cases (mainly in children and young adults.)

What are the methods of treatment?
The only method of treatment available for dengue fever is the alleviation of symptoms. A high fever can be treated with acetaminophen (not aspirin), and re-hydration may also be necessary. The prognosis associated with dengue fever is good. Full recovery is expected of every patient.

For dengue hemorrhagic fever, re-hydration is needed to replace lost fluids, and in some cases, blood transfusions may be necessary to control bleeding.

Read more about dengue fever, its symptoms and treatment.



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