Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Dengue fever has become a major public health concern in Malaysia

Dengue fever has become a major public health concern in recent decades. With dengue cases on the rise in the country, it is important to know more about dengue fever and how to protect yourself against aedes mosquitoes.


"Dengue is only spread through the bite of an infected mosquito."


What is Dengue fever and how is it transmitted?
Dengue fever is one of the most common mosquito-borne viral disease of humans. Dengue fever mostly occurs in the tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world. Outbreaks of dengue fever usually occur in the rainy season.
 
Dengue viruses are transmitted to humans through the bites of a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person. Dengue does not spread directly from person to person. It is only spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.
 
The disease itself is rarely fatal, but a more serious complication, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is far more dangerous. Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is a more severe and potentially deadly form of the disease in which bleeding and sometimes shock occurs. It can be fatal if unrecognised and not properly treated.
 


What are the signs and symptoms?
After being bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus, the incubation period ranges from three to fifteen (usually five to eight) days before the signs and symptoms of dengue appear. The signs and symptoms may vary, depending on the form of the disease.
 
Dengue fever signs and symptoms typically include high fever, severe headache, chills, red eyes and pain behind the eyes, severe muscle and joint pain, nausea and vomiting, backache and rash. Most people who develop dengue fever recover completely within two weeks. However, some may go through several weeks of feeling tired and/or depressed.
 
Symptoms of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever initially may be indistinguishable from dengue fever, but the hemorrhagic form of dengue fever is more severe and is associated with loss of appetite, vomiting, high fever, headache and abdominal pain, progressing to faintness and generalized bleeding. Circulatory failure and shock may occur, which if untreated, can result in death.
 
What is the treatment?
There is no specific medication for treatment of a dengue infection. Consult your doctor immediately if you suspect that you have symptoms suggestive of dengue, especially if you have been in an area where dengue is known to occur. Rest and fluid intake for adequate hydration are important to help alleviate the illness.
 
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever may be effectively treated by fluid replacement therapy if an early clinical diagnosis is made. Hospitalisation is frequently required in order to adequately manage Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever.
 
Prevention and Control
At present, there is no vaccine for preventing dengue. Therefore, the best preventive measure is to combat the mosquitoes.


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