Widely prevalent in the tropics and the subtropics, dengue fever is caused by viral infection, transmitted through the bite of a mosquito, the female Aedes aegypti. It is a day-biting mosquito which breeds well in collected rain water or freshwater and feeds on human blood to produce eggs. Also referred to as ‘break bone’ fever, its critical and severe form is called as dengue hemorrhagic fever. The symptoms of dengue begin surfacing within four to six days of infection. Few top symptoms to pay heed to for early diagnosis and treatment are:-
#Sudden Onset Of High Fever
The infected person exhibits a sudden onset of extremely high temperature which can reach as high as 41°C and possibly accompanied by convulsions and other complications. Low heart rate and low blood pressure may also be experienced as a direct consequence of the fever. Characteristic rashes also cover the entire body except the face. A standard dengue fever lasts for about six to seven days . This fever is often confused with chikungunya viral infection but a blood test sets the record straight. Prolonged fever along with other symptoms and low blood platelet count complicates to dengue hemorrhagic fever. Its manifesting symptoms are hypovolaemia, sudden increase in vascular permeability and abnormal blood clotting mechanism. Being fatal, this could lead to death.
#Severe Headache With Pain Behind The Eyes
High fever is often accompanied with severe headache (localized to the forehead) and extreme pain behind the eyes which is medically referred to as retro-orbital pain. The pain is so intense that patients find it difficult to flap the eyelids and even feel foggy and dizzy. Classic Dengue has a higher severity of headache than the hemorrhagic fever.
#Intense Body, Joint And Muscle Pain
Referred to as myalgias and arthralgias respectively, the pain in the legs and joints are so intense that dengue fever has popularly been nicknamed as break-bone fever or bone-crusher disease. The ache can initiate within a few hours of infection and is often accompanied with overall body ache which can be extremely uncomfortable and debilitating. Unusually intense pain makes it quite difficult for the patient to rest in any comfortable position.
#Swollen Lymph Nodes And Glands
The lymphatic glands produce antigens and the immune cells (white blood cells) to kill and remove any infectious germs that attack the body. This is done at the lymph nodes which are spread throughout the body. Fighting the dengue virus, causes the lymph nodes, especially of the neck region to swell and become tender. Some patient find it spread throughout their body.
Being a viral disease, there is no specific treatment or vaccine available for this fatal disease. Early diagnosis and management of the symptoms is the ideal treatment path available. Critical cases require hospitalization and treatment with intravenous fluids and sometimes even blood transfusions. Keeping the surroundings clean and preventing the breeding of the mosquitoes is the winning path in combating dengue fever.