Best Ways To Prevent And Treat Dengue Fever (You Might Have It And Not Know It!)

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Dengue fever, sometimes called breakbone fever, is a viral infection spread by mosquitoes. Although it is a virus, it cannot be spread by human to human contact, only through mosquito bites.

This disease is caused by one of 4 closely related viruses. Dengue is related to yellow fever and West Nile virus. It can affect anyone but for children and infants, this disease can be deadly.

Unfortunately, there is no cure and very little treatment. There is a vaccine in the works, however and if you plan on traveling to the high risk countries of Mexico, Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa, China, Taiwan, Southeast Asia, the Philippine islands, Taiwan or the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii, you might want to ask your doctor if a vaccine has been approved yet.

Many people think that dengue fever does not apply to them because it has been mainly found in tropical locations, but this virus has been spreading like wildfire throughout most of the world. There have been cases in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California. In 2010, there have also been cases of dengue fever reported in Portugal, France, Brazil, Fiji and Croatia.

The number of dengue cases is vastly underreported because many people believe that they have the flu. One recent estimate, according to the World Health Organization, is that there are about 390 million infections in 128 countries.  Consider that in 1970 there were only about 9 countries reporting dengue cases, it’s easy to see how this virus has spread dramatically.

Although it rarely causes death, this does happen in infants and children. Anytime a fever of 104 degrees occurs along with swollen glands, a rash, joint pain, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, vomiting, nausea, or any combination of two or more of these symptoms occur along with the fever, dengue should be suspected. Inspect the body for mosquito bites.

There is a potentially deadly complication to dengue, often called severe dengue, which occurs due to leaking plasma, fluid accumulation, and respiratory distress. This will usually occur within 3 to 7 days after the initial fever. Persistent vomiting along with a drop in the fever to 100 degrees is cause for alarm and the patient should be brought to an emergency room immediately for treatment.

How can you avoid this disease and treat symptoms? Keep reading; we will give you all the info you need to protect you and your family.


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