Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF)

Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which are primarily a disease of the tropics, are caused by one of four closely related virus serotypes (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4) of the genus Flavivirus. Infection with one does not provide cross protection against another strain, so during the person lifetime can have four dengue infections.

The viruses are transmitted via the bite of various day-feeding mosquitoes of the subgenusus Stegomyia. The principal circulate the virus in their blood, mosquitoes ingesting feeding on the infective individual.

Dengue fever symptoms appear within 5-8 days of being bitten by infected mosquito, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains and rash.

DHF is characterized by high fever, up to 41C. persisting for 2-7 days enlarged liver and circulatory failure. If left untreated, the patient may go into shock (DSS) with a rapid, weak pulse, followed by signs of circulatory failure such as cool, blotchy skin. Without proper treatment, may die within 12-24 hours.

A diagnosis is made from the history, physical examination, and laboratory tests: PCR for Dengue. Dengue IgG and IgM. Initial treatment of a suspected case is aimed towards visiting the physician, reducing the fever using paracetamol (but avoid Aspirin), drink plenty of water and rest.

Currently, no vaccine treatment but close medical attention and clinical management by avoiding mosquito bites, using appropriate insect screens, insecticide sprays and insect repellent lotions and eliminating and covering open water containers.