Dengue virus infection. Dengue is a serious virus infection. The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. There are 4 different types of viruses. The disease occurs in most (sub) tropical regions, in particular in Southeast Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean. Especially in urban areas.
The disease often develops as a kind of flu, with fever, muscle aches and sometimes skin rashes. The joints are often also painful and swollen, hence the name dengue fever.
The virus can cause life-threatening complications. Especially people who previously had an infection with a different dengue virus type have a slightly higher chance of getting serious complications. 40% of the world’s population lives in areas where dengue occurs. Every year 50 million people get a dengue infection. In the last 10 years, there has been a worrying increase in the disease. This is due to the expansion of the habitat of the mosquito, which transmits the virus. After the infection, it takes about 2 to 15 days before complaints arise.
Symptoms with dengue (dengue fever)
The symptoms with dengue suddenly arise. People feel very ill, have a high fever (41 degrees C) and there is often a pain in their muscles and joints. Often there is also a spotty red rash during the first few days.
After a few days, nausea, vomiting, and cough symptoms often develop. When the temperature drops, there is often a red rash on the face, arms, and legs. The fever may also rise slightly. A gradual recovery usually occurs after this. In rare cases, complications arise 2 to 5 days after the onset of symptoms. It can then be the Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. This is a serious condition, without treatment, 10% of people die from this complication due to bleeding and shock. With optimal treatment that is 1%.
How does dengue (dengue) develop?
Dengue is caused by infection with the dengue virus. The virus spreader is a mosquito. Usually, the Aedes Aegypti, which punctures during the day. The disease only occurs in areas where this mosquito can live. The virus multiplies in the human body, especially in the liver, spleen and lymph nodes.
Is it serious what can you expect?
Dengue is a serious disease with a generally favorable course. The disease can look very much like the normal flu, but joint complaints are sometimes more prominent. Serious complications can occur. That chance is higher in people who have previously experienced an infection with a different type of dengue virus. In the most serious case, clotting problems and shock occur.
There is no known treatment for the virus. Treatment is therefore symptomatic, aimed at suppressing the symptoms and symptoms.
When to the doctor?
Dengue virus contamination occurs while traveling in high-risk countries. Given the short incubation period, the disease usually develops during the journey. The first complaint is fever. Fever is a symptom that occurs in many tropical conditions. In case of complaints of high fever during or after a (sub) tropical trip it is advisable to visit a doctor. No causal treatment is available for dengue, but it is the case for many other dangerous tropical diseases.
What can you do about it yourself?
You can do a number of things yourself when you have been diagnosed with dengue. These are measures that support the body and reduce symptoms. Rest and adequate drinking are very important. With acetaminophen, you can suppress pain and fever. It is better not to use aspirin because of the effect on blood clotting. Keep an eye on your complaints. If you get a high fever again, you should consult a doctor. Even small blood clots in the skin are disturbing.
General advice and precautions
The most important precautionary measure is the prevention of mosquito bites. You can do this by regularly using an anti-mosquito spread. Providing little uncovered skin surface also helps in this. The use of a mosquito net also reduces the risk of mosquito bites. The dengue mosquito punctures especially in the early morning and late afternoon. If you live in an area where dengue occurs, make sure that places, where mosquito larvae can develop, are removed or treated. This concerns small puddles and pools. Well-known places are ponds in old tires of cars.
There is no vaccination against dengue.