Most of these are in tropical areas of the world, with the greatest risk occurring in:
The Indian subcontinent
The Pacific Islands
The Caribbean (except Cuba and the Cayman Islands)
Central and South America (except Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina)
Most cases in the United States occur in people who contracted the infection while traveling abroad. But the risk is increasing for people living along the Texas-Mexico border and in other parts of the southern United States. In 2009, an outbreak of dengue fever was identified in Key West, Fla.
Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with a dengue virus. The mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person with dengue virus in their blood. It can not be spread directly from one person to another person.
Symptoms, which usually begin four to six days after infection and last for up to 10 days, may include:
Sudden, high fever
Pain behind the eyes
Severe joint and muscle pain
Skin rash, which appears three to four days after the onset of fever
Mild bleeding (nose bleeding, bleeding gums, or easy bruising)
Sometimes symptoms are mild and can be mistaken for those of the flu or another viral infection. Younger children and people who have never had the infection before tend to have milder cases than older children and adults.
However, serious problems can develop. These include Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever, a rare complication characterized by high fever, damage to lymph and blood vessels, bleeding from the nose and gums, enlargement of the liver, and failure of the circulatory system. The symptoms may progress to massive bleeding, shock, and death. This is called Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS).People with weakened immune systems as well as those with a second or subsequent dengue infection are believed to be at greater risk for developing dengue hemorrhagic fever.
There is no vaccine to prevent dengue fever. The best way to prevent the disease is to prevent bites by infected mosquitoes, particularly if you are living in or traveling to a tropical area. This involves protecting yourself and making efforts to keep the mosquito population down.
Stay away from heavily populated residential areas.
Use mosquito repellents, even indoors.
When outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks.
When indoors, use air conditioning if available.
Make sure window and door screens are secure and free of holes. If sleeping areas are not screened or air-conditioned, use mosquito nets.
If you have symptoms of dengue, consult your doctor.
To reduce the mosquito population regularly change the water in outdoor bird- baths and pets’ water dishes.
If someone in your home gets dengue fever, be especially vigilant about efforts to protect yourself and other family members from mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that bite the infected family member could spread the infection to others in your home.
Dengue Fever/Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever usually appear between the third and fifth day of illness. You should, therefore, watch the patient for two days even after the fever disappears.
Keep body temperature below 39 oC.
Give the patient paracetamol (not more than four times in 24 hours) as per the dose prescribed:
Age Dose (tablet 250 mg) Mg/dose
<1 year ¼ tablet 60
1-4 years ½ tablet 60-120
5 and above 1 tablet 240
Give large amounts of fluids (water, soup, milk, juice, coconut water) along with the patient’s normal diet.
The patient should take complete rest.
Immediately consult a doctor if any of these manifestations appear:Red spots or points on the skin,bleeding from the nose or gums,frequent vomiting,vomiting blood,black stools,sleepiness,constant crying,abdominal pain,excessive thirst (dry mouth),pale, cold or clammy skin,difficulty in breathing.
Do not take Aspirin or Brufen or Ibuprofen.