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Dengue and Its Symptoms

Demystifying Dengue: Symptoms, Treatment, and Precautions

What is Dengue?

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection caused by the dengue virus. It is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes, primarily the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Dengue fever can range from mild to severe and, in some cases, can lead to life-threatening complications.

Symptoms of Dengue Fever
  1. High Fever: Dengue fever typically starts with a sudden high-grade fever, often as high as 104-105°F (40-40.6°C).
  2. Severe Headaches and Pain Behind the Eyes: Intense headaches and pain behind the eyes are common dengue symptoms.
  3. Severe Joint and Muscle Pain: Dengue fever is often referred to as “breakbone fever” due to the severe joint and muscle pain it causes.
  4. Skin Rash: A characteristic rash may appear 2-5 days after the onset of fever.
  5. Bleeding and Bruising: In severe cases (dengue hemorrhagic fever), bleeding gums, nosebleeds, and easy bruising may occur.
Treating Dengue Fever
  1. Rest and Hydration: Bed rest and increased fluid intake help the body recover and prevent dehydration.
  2. Pain Relievers: Acetaminophen can be used to reduce fever and relieve pain. Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen.
  3. Medical Monitoring: Severe cases require close medical supervision to monitor platelet counts and vital signs.
  4. Hospitalization: In critical cases, hospitalization may be necessary for intravenous fluids and other supportive measures.
Precautions and Preventative Measures
  1. Hand Hygiene: Wash hands frequently, especially before touching the face or eyes, to prevent the spread of bacteria or viruses.
  2. Avoid Touching or Rubbing Eyes: Touching the eyes with unwashed hands can introduce irritants or pathogens.
  3. Allergen Avoidance: Identify and minimize exposure to allergens such as pollen, pet dander, or dust mites.
  4. Proper Contact Lens Care: If you wear contact lenses, ensure they are cleaned and stored according to recommended guidelines.
  5. Seek Medical Attention Promptly: If symptoms persist or worsen, consult an eye care professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

By understanding the symptoms, treatment options, and preventative measures associated with dengue fever, individuals can take proactive steps to protect themselves and their communities from this potentially serious illness. Remember, early detection and appropriate care are crucial for a swift recovery.

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