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Dengue Fever Facts And Information For Dengue Fever Recovery

Dengue fever is an infectious disease caused by the dengue virus, which is carried by mosquitoes. There are four types of related dengue viruses known as DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN - 4. Before this disease was called "break-bone fever" because it causes relentless joint pain that is so severe patients feel their bones are breaking. Dengue fever is known to exist for at least the last two centuries.

You can be affected by at least two types of viruses if not all four types.
The symptoms of dengue infection usually begin to appear with fever within 4 to 7 days after you have been bitten by a virus carrying mosquito. 

Symptoms And Treatment Of Dengue Fever

The symptoms of dengue are:

  • Very high fever of the order of 105°F
  • Severe headache
  • Pain behind the eye (known as Retro-orbital pain)
  • Severe to very severe pain in joints and muscles
  • Continuous acute pain in the stomach; internal bleeding may occur due to hemorrhage
  • Nausea and vomiting.

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever, though treatment is given to protect from other bacterial or viral infections.

Most people recover within a couple of weeks.


  • Several vaccines are being developed for dengue but so far none of them has been very effective. The best way to prevent dengue is to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
  • Dress in full sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes to avoid mosquito bites. Special care is to be taken during the daylight hours because these mosquitoes bite during day time only.
  • Always keep unscreened windows and doors closed
  • Use a mosquito repellent.

Do not allow water to be stagnant in your area because dengue spreading mosquitoes breed in standing water such as in flower pots and containers.

The food you should give to a dengue patient should be such that it can be easily digested. Some useful pointers to keep in mind when preparing a meal for someone suffering from dengue are:

  • Give the patient fresh orange juice frequently. Orange juice is packed with energy and vitamins. It helps in digestion, increases urinary output, and promotes antibodies for faster recover.
  • Take two fresh papaya leaves, crush them and squeeze them to extract the juice. The patient should have about two tablespoons of this juice every day. This is a very good home remedy for the treatment of dengue fever.
  • Give porridge and baked toasts. Biscuits with tea can also be given. The tea should be herbal made with ginger, cardamom, and other such fever-reducing herbs.
  • Always seek advice from your doctor to avoid any complications.

What is dengue fever?

Dengue fever is not really a fever but a disease that is caused by 4 species of viruses that are related; it is spread from one person to another by a certain species of mosquito. This condition is not very common in the United States, as there have been only a few reported cases in the last couple of years. However, millions of people around the world get affected by dengue fever, which is highly prevalent in developing countries. Dengue fever could range from being mild to severe. The milder forms of the disease could bring about certain dengue fever symptoms such as a high fever, muscle pain, joint ache and a rash. However, if the disease is more severe, then some serious dengue fever symptoms could be evident, which could also be life-threatening.

Causes of dengue fever

There are four dengue viruses and any of them could cause this disease. The disease spreads by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are known to thrive quite close to human habitations. In fact these mosquitoes can breed even in the cleanest waters and can transmit the virus between people. If the mosquito happens to bite a person who has been infected with the dengue virus, then the virus enters the bloodstream of the mosquito and settles in the salivary glands. If the infected mosquito then bites another person, the virus then enters the human’s bloodstream, where it leads to the illness. Unfortunately, getting infected once does not offer immunity against the disease, as a person can suffer from dengue fever more than once. Since there are 4 different viruses that cause the disease, a person could get infected with a different virus, which may lead to dengue fever again. Getting infected the second time is what usually causes the more severe forms of the disease, where some serious dengue fever symptoms may be seen.

Dengue fever symptoms

The various dengue fever symptoms vary from person to person, depending on the form of the disease, as well as its severity. In case a person suffers from the milder forms of the disease, some of the dengue fever symptoms that may be seen are:

•    High fever, which can go up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit (40.6 degrees C)
•    Pain in the area behind the eyes
•    A rash on the body, which may seem like it comes and goes
•    Intense pain in the joints and muscles
•    Severe headaches
•    Nausea, which may be accompanied by vomiting
•    Backaches

After being bitten by an infected mosquito, it usually takes anywhere between 4 and 7 days for the various dengue symptoms to appear. Mild cases of dengue fever are generally not serious, if they are controlled properly. Fortunately, in most of the milder cases, the dengue fever symptoms subside within a week after they appear.

However, if the disease is one of the more severe forms of dengue, such as dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome, then the symptoms do not subside; instead they get worse after a couple of days.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever symptoms

When a person suffers from dengue hemorrhagic fever, some of the signs that may be seen are:

•    Considerable damage to the lymph vessels and blood.
•    Bleeding from the mouth and nose.
•    The appearance of bruises under the skin, which are caused by bleeding.
•    A decrease in the number of platelets.

If the disease is not controlled as early as possible, it could eventually lead to death.

Dengue shock syndrome symptoms

This is the most severe form of dengue fever and therefore, the symptoms of this disease are also a lot more serious. Some of the symptoms of dengue shock syndrome are:

•    Leakage of fluid or plasma from the blood vessels.
•    Severe pain in the abdominal area.
•    Shock, characterized by a sudden drop in blood pressure.
•    Vomiting frequently.
•    Heavy bleeding.
•    Disorientation.

Although it is not very common, this condition could also result in death, if it is not controlled in time. Therefore, as soon as any of the dengue fever symptoms become evident, it is important to visit a doctor. Some people may need to be hospitalized for faster dengue fever recovery.

It may be a bit of a challenge to diagnose dengue fever, since the signs and symptoms could easily be confused with the signs of other diseases like malaria or typhoid fever. Hence the doctor may need to conduct a few blood tests for a more accurate diagnosis. Once the results indicate that a person is suffering from dengue fever, the doctor may recommend certain medicines to reduce the symptoms. Though there is no specific treatment for dengue fever, doctors may advise a patient to follow a special dengue diet and drink a lot of fluids, so that the fever and vomiting does not lead to dehydration. A daily food chart for dengue patients should include boiled vegetables, rice gruel, porridge, soup, toast, apples, plantains and tea. Foods that should be avoided are oil, spices and salt. However, it is alright to use lemon juice or certain herbs to enhance the flavor of certain dishes.

In case of the severe form of the disease, then hospitalization may be required, which will also include intravenous fluids, electrolyte replacement, monitoring blood pressure or blood transfusion to replace the amount that has already been lost. The patient should also be kept in isolation, to keep from passing the disease on to others.

Treating dengue fever is a lot more difficult that preventing it, even though there are no vaccinations yet, that can help immunize people against this disease. However, there are several measures that can be taken to avoid mosquito bites, which is the most effective form of prevention against dengue fever. People should stay indoors, with their windows shut, when the mosquitoes are most prevalent. If it is important to go to an area, which may be infested by mosquitoes, people should dress in long sleeved shirts and trousers and should also wear socks and shoes. There are several mosquito repellents too, which can be an effective way of keeping mosquitoes away.

Submitted on January 16, 2014