What Is Dengue Fever?

Author: Mosquito Squad

What is dengue fever, and how is it different from other mosquito-borne illnesses?

Like most mosquito-borne illnesses, dengue fever symptoms are similar to having a common cold. The dengue virus spreads to people through the bite of an infected mosquito species Aedes. The Aedes species includes the inland floodwater mosquito, Asian tiger mosquito, tree-hole mosquito, and Saltmarsh mosquito.

Dengue fever is common in more than 100 countries around the world, with 400 million people becoming infected with the virus every year. One hundred million off those infected become sick, with 22,000 who die from severe conditions.

Where Can You Get Dengue Fever?

Dengue outbreaks are occurring around the world: Central and South America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Australia, and Western Pacific Islands. These warm climates allow the mosquito to be active both day and night, maximizing the number of people that get bitten and infected. Unfortunately, within two weeks of becoming bitten, the host may begin to show signs of infection.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Rash
  • Pain in the eyes, joints, and muscles
  • Minor bleeding

In severe cases, symptoms may include bleeding, shock, organ failure, or death.

Cure for Dengue Fever

There is no specific medication to treat dengue. When the symptoms first arise, it is best to treat the symptoms and visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible. To help manage the virus at home, get plenty of rest, take acetaminophen, and drink plenty of fluids.

Although uncommon, 1 in 20 people who get sick with dengue will develop severe dengue, which results in shock, internal bleeding, and sometimes death. If you have had dengue before, there is an increased risk of severe dengue.

How to Prevent Dengue Fever

When traveling to countries with mosquito-borne illnesses, be mindful of your sleeping arrangements. If you’re in a country with a lot of mosquitoes, WHOPES-approved bed nets are a necessity to protect yourself while sleeping. Finding a hotel with air conditioning not only will keep you cozy, but the AC will protect against mosquitoes that cannot fly in strong winds. Spraying insect repellent containing DEET over your exposed skin and clothing will protect you both day and night from mosquito bites as well.

Check out 7 ways to keep pests away while sleeping away from home. For more information on dengue fever, visit the CDC website.

Although dengue fever is not as common in North America, Mosquito Squad can protect your yard from mosquitoes and all the illnesses they carry. Call them for a free estimate and enjoy your yard.