Dengue fever is a serious, severe, and contagious mosquito-borne ailment brought on by any of the four closely related dengue infections. Aedes mosquito transmits the dengue virus. A mosquito becomes infected when it bites a human who has dengue virus in their blood (Bernstein, 2015). Dengue infection is the kind of viral infection that cannot be transmitted from one person to another directly. Dengue fever is considered especially dangerous since there is a huge possibility of developing some serious hemorrhagic complications. Understanding the history, symptoms, epidemiology, and redefining the prevention of dengue disease are essential for elaborating some effective patterns of medicating dengue disease itself.
The word “dengue” is assumed to stem from the Swahili language. Ancient people described dengue as “cramp-like seizure caused by an evil spirit” (“History of Dengue”, 2016). The first cases of dengue fever were recorder in the late 18th century (circa late 1770s or the early 1780s) (“History of Dengue”, 2016). However, the symptoms of dengue fever were described far earlier, in the chronicles that dated back to Jin Dynasty (circa 3d – 5th century AD) (“History of Dengue”, 2016).
Some of the most recent studies of dengue fever specify that circa 390 million cases of dengue fever are registered throughout the world annually, with around 96 million cases bringing about the disease itself (Bernstein, 2015). Tropical zones are considered the specific areas, in which the potential risk of being infected with dengue disease is especially high - the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, Southern China, Taiwan, The Pacific Islands, The Caribbean (aside from Cuba and the Cayman Islands), Mexico, Africa, Central and South America (aside from Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina) (Bernstein, 2015). Most cases of dengue fever registered in the United States were found in individuals who had been infected while staying abroad. In any case, the danger of dengue expands for the individuals living along the Texas-Mexico outskirt and in different parts of the southern United States. In 2009, mass media reported of a flare-up of dengue fever in Key West, Fla (Bernstein, 2015).
Symptoms of Dengue Fever
First signs of the dengue viral infection manifest themselves in 4 to 10 days after the virus itself enters the bloodstream. They may include sudden high fever, extreme cerebral pains, pain behind the eyes, severe joint and muscle pain, vomiting, nausea, mild bleeding (such a nose bleeding, bleeding gums, or simple wounding), fatigue, and skin rash that appears two to five days after the onset of fever (Bernstein, 2015). As a rule, the symptoms of dengue disease are mild; thus, they are quite often disambiguated with that of season’s flu virus or other viral infections. Children and the youngsters who have never had the disease can resist the disease itself more strongly, strenuously, and successfully if compared to other youngsters and grown-ups. Still, dengue fever is potentially capable of affecting large groups of people. One of the most serious complications of dengue disease is the so-called dengue hemorrhagic fever, a rare condition characterized by high body temperature, blood and lymph vessels damage, hepatomegaly (large liver mass), nasal and gum bleeding, and circulatory system failure (Bernstein, 2015). Medical specialists distinguish between the following forms of dengue disease: asymptomatic infection, mild dengue fever (DF), dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), also known as the dengue shock syndrome (DSS) (San Martín, 2012). Frequent fatality in DSS, in most of the cases, is caused by the “abnormal capillary permeability and plasma leakage” (San Martín et al., 2012, p. 128). Patients with impaired and/or weakened immune system, as well as those who are infected for the second time or subsequently, are assumed to be at an even greater risk of developing dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Diagnosing Dengue Fever
To diagnose viral infections like dengue disease, medical specialists must test patient’s blood for antibodies to the dengue virus or the virus of the disease itself. In their turn, patients ought to inform a doctor whether or not they had traveled to tropical areas before the first signs and symptoms of dengue disease started to manifest themselves (Bernstein, 2015). Thus, the doctor will be able to evaluate the chances of the patients’ symptoms being caused dengue virus.
Treatment for Dengue Fever
There is no unified approach towards the treatment of dengue disease as no specific medication has been invented thus far to combat the ailment itself (Bernstein, 2015). Acetaminophen-containing pain relievers are used to treat the symptoms of dengue disease, whilst the aspirin-containing medicines are prohibited for aspirin in itself might worsen bleeding (Bernstein, 2015). Rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and planning a doctor appointment are highly recommended when there is a possibility of a patient being infected with the said virus (Bernstein, 2015). In case the symptoms start to worsen 24 hours after a patient’s temperature goes down, patient should be directed to a hospital immediately to be checked for complications (Bernstein, 2015).
Dengue Fever Prevention
To ensure a person’s personal protection and the protection of those around them, the following recommendations should be observed. People should avoid vigorously populated local locations, if conceivable, and they must use mosquito anti-agents, even inside (Bernstein, 2015). When outside, it is necessary to wear sleeved shirts and long jeans tucked into socks; when inside, one should use aerating and cooling if accessible and ensure that window and entryway screens are secure and free of openings (Bernstein, 2015). If resting regions are not screened or ventilated, it is obligatory to use mosquito nets and consult a specialist in a medical facility immediately in case there is even a slight possibility of being infected with dengue virus (Bernstein, 2015). To diminish the mosquito populace, the spots where mosquitoes can breed such as old tires, jars, or window boxes that gather downpour must be disposed of (Bernstein, 2015). The water in open-air water basins and pets’ water dishes must be changed on the routine basis (Bernstein, 2015). On the off chance that somebody in apartment gets dengue fever, one should be particularly watchful about endeavors to shield oneself and other relatives from mosquitoes (Bernstein, 2015). Mosquitoes that bite the infected person could spread the contamination to others in the home (Bernstein, 2015). Lastly, the World Health Organization’s report specifies the following objectives: reducing dengue mortality and morbidity by 50% at 25% respectively by 2020, estimating “the true burden of the disease by 2015” (WHO, 2012, p. 7). In this respect, elaborating the mechanisms for earlier detection and diagnosis of dengue fever, developing the mechanism for proper management of the disease, enhancing surveillance and outbreak preparedness, sustainable control, vaccine implementation, and funding the implementation and operational researches turn out to be essential (WHO, 2012, p. 7). The forgoing strategies comply with the goals of the program Healthy People 2020.
Dengue Fever: Trends in Epidemiology
With more than 33% of the world’s populace living in regions at danger for contamination, dengue infection is a main source of ailment and demise in the tropics and subtropics (CDC, 2016). The assumed amount of 400 million people is infected with dengue virus a year (CDC, 2016). Since dengue is brought on by any of four related infections transmitted by mosquitoes, there are still no antibodies to forestall contamination with dengue infection and the best defensive measures are those that maintain a strategic distance from mosquito chomps. Whenever someone is infected, early acknowledgment and brief steady treatment can significantly bring down the danger of restorative entanglements and passing. Dengue has risen as an overall issue just since the 1950s (CDC, 2016). Despite the fact that dengue seldom happens in the mainland United States it is endemic in Puerto Rico and in the numerous prevalent traveler destinations in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific islands (CDC, 2016). One of most recent studies conducted by a group of scientists led by J. L. San Martín specifies that the highest incidence of dengue hemorrhagic fever throughout the past three decades has been observed in the infants in Venezuela (San Martín et al., 2010). In addition to that, there is an overall tendency towards the increase of the cases of dengue morbidity and mortality in the North and South America in the past thirty years (San Martín et al., 2010).
Overall, the worldwide patterns of dengue illness and the study of disease transmission are portrayed by a quickly growing geographic dispersion of vector infestation, the danger of contamination, and sickness transmission regardless of continuous control endeavors (Ferreira, 2012). An expanded recurrence and greatness of plagues with huge levels of hospitalization and a checked expanded danger for the extreme types of dengue are connected with the ceaseless dissemination of the four dengue infection serotypes (Ferreira, 2012). In this way, dengue is an inexorably worldwide general well-being concern portrayed by eccentric scourges, and the disease, for which no feasible control measures have been established so far (Ferreira, 2012).
Dengue fever should be regarded as a life-threatening condition in the first place. Aedes mosquito is an agent transmitting Dengue virus. A person becomes infected with the dengue virus once he/she has been bitten by an insect carrying the virus. No cases of transmitting dengue disease from one human being to another directly were recorded. Dengue fever is associated with a string of some serious complications, among which the loss of blood is considered the most dangerous one. To protect oneself against being infected with the dengue virus, one has to use mosquito repellents. People constantly living in the tropical areas are recommended to equip their apartments with mosquito nets to prevent the potentially contagious insect from getting into the apartment. The authorities of southern states of the United States of America, governments of the countries located in the Central and South America as well as the governments of countries located in the South-East Asia should take and unite the efforts to take the spread of the dengue fever under control. Most importantly, they should assist the citizens in protecting themselves against the possible risks of becoming infected with the dengue virus by informing them on the disease, promoting hygiene, and helping the citizens to sustain and keep to the sanitary code.
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