Winter is here, but dengue fever is refusing to relent.
Read on to know all about the dengue fever, so that you can prevent yourself and your loved ones from falling prey to this deadly mosquito-borne viral disease.
What is Dengue Fever?
Dengue fever affects infants, young children, and adults. The viruses that cause dengue fever are spread by female mosquito of the species, Aedes aegypti, and to a lesser extent by Aedes albopictus. These mosquitoes also transmit zika virus, chikungunya and yellow fever.
These Aedes mosquito usually breed in still water and commonly habitat in flowerpots, tires or buckets etc., inside households.
Symptoms of Dengue
Many a time, children and teens do not experience any signs during mild dengue. However, when the symptoms do occur, which usually develop four to six days after the mosquito has bitten, they may be followed by:
- High Fever (104 F degrees)
- Severe headaches
- Pain behind the eyes
- Severe muscle and joint pains
- Extreme fatigue
- Skin rash which appears two to five days post fever
- Mild bleeding (nose or gum bleeding)
Though many people recover after a week or ten days but in some cases the symptoms worsen and often become life-threatening. In such cases the blood vessels become damaged and lead to drop in platelet count. This causes a more severe kind of dengue which is also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Its symptoms include:
- High fever
- Abdominal Pain
- Persistent vomiting
- Liver enlargement
- Fluid accumulation in the lungs or abdomen
Who is at more risk for developing dengue hemorrhagic fever?
- People with weakened immune systems
- People with a second or subsequent dengue infection
Diagnosis of Dengue Fever
A blood test is done to diagnose dengue infection. If you have traveled to a tropical area or an area infested by mosquitoes and fallen sick, let your doctor know. This will help your doctor evaluate the infection better. Your doctor may suggest you to undergo two kinds of test depending upon the severity of your symptoms. Those tests are:
- Antibody test: This test is predominantly done to diagnose a recent infection. It helps detect two different classes of antibodies that are produced by the body in response to a dengue fever infection, which are classified as IgG and IgM.
The table below would help you understand the analysis of the antibody tests:
|IgM Result||IgG Result||Possible Interpretation|
|Positive||Negative||Person is currently infected|
|Positive||Positive||Person is currently infected|
|Low or negative||Positive||Person had an infection sometime in the past|
|Negative||Negative||Symptoms due to another disease|
- Molecular test – This test involves a PCR test to detect the presence of the virus and is considered the most reliable means of diagnosis. A positive result indicates that the person is infected with virus and a negative result on a PCR test may indicate that there’s no infection or the level of virus is too low to get detected.
Early diagnosis is very important
To be able to stop dengue infection from spreading, its early detection is very important. Therefore, the test for dengue fever should strictly be done from a reliable and trusted health lab only. It will not only help you get the correct diagnosis but also help your doctor suggest the correct treatment.
Trusted by many, HCAH Labs’ is undoubtedly a great option for an accurate diagnosis. It provides you with the ease of sample collection from home so that you don’t have to hassle yourself with stepping out. Post collection, the blood samples are submitted at one of our wide network of NABL and CAP certified blood testing labs for further testing. Once the blood specimen have been tested, a proper and thorough diagnosis report is prepared by our skilled laboratory professionals to ensure the results are accurate, reliable and timely.
Treatment for Dengue Fever
There isn’t any specific medicine to treat dengue infection. You can use pain relievers with acetaminophen and avoid medicines with aspirin as it could worsen bleeding.
While recovering from dengue, keeping yourself hydrated should always be a priority. You should drink plenty of fluids and rest as much as you can. In case your condition worsens, see a doctor immediately and get checked for complications.
Dengue Prevention Tips
- Strictly avoid water stagnancy in your vicinity
- Avoid visiting heavily populated areas
- Cover yourself properly when stepping out
- Use mosquito repellents/mosquito net even indoors
- Make sure the windows are free of holes so that mosquitoes can’t get inside the home
- Tropical and sub-tropical areas are more prone to the disease, thus, avoid traveling to these areas