Know Dengue Symptoms, Prevention, & Treatment

icon-blog By -Dr. Kanika Sharma
icon-blog By -November 24, 2023
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The dengue symptoms may resemble those of a stomach bug or intestinal illness, potentially leading to confusion. Nonetheless, it is essential not to dismiss or downplay dengue symptoms discussed in this article. The spread of dengue is connected to issues in cities like bad housing, lots of people living close together, and problems with water and waste systems.

This is happening because cities are growing too quickly without good planning. In the next 10 years, dengue will likely affect more places and put a strain on healthcare.

The cause of dengue is single-stranded RNA virus transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, is a significant mosquito-borne viral infection. It is prevalent in over 140 countries across Asia, the USA, the Eastern Mediterranean, and Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 2.5 billion people, primarily children in tropical and subtropical regions, are at risk of dengue infection. Annually, there are nearly 100 million symptomatic cases worldwide, with about 75% occurring in Asia and the Western Pacific region.

Dengue outbreaks have been happening more often worldwide, and it's getting worse. Changes in nature and how people live are making it spread to new places and cities. Factors like mosquitoes spreading, more people living in cities, slums developing, and folks traveling are making dengue a bigger problem.
To stop dengue in places where it's common, it's important to control the mosquitoes that carry the virus.

The methods we use now haven't been super successful, so using a good vaccine and other preventive measures, like making people aware, could be the best way to control dengue in these areas.

Stay ahead of dengue symptoms! Arm yourself with accurate information about the illness to stay protected. If you're here to gain insights, delve into the details below to discover dengue symptoms, prevention, & treatment. Learn proactive measures to prevent it and master the skills to take care of your health during this vulnerable season.

What Are Dengue Symptoms?

Lets explore the answer to “What are the symptoms of dengue” here. Studies suggest that almost 400 million people contract dengue annually, yet the majority (approximately 80%) experience no symptoms.Most people don't show any dengue symptoms. If symptoms do appear, they might be confused with other illnesses, like the flu, and typically start four to 10 days after getting bitten by an infected mosquito.
Dengue symptoms may include: 

  • First Sign Of  Dengue Fever Is A High Fever Reaching 104 F (40 C)
  • Headache
  • Muscle Or Joint Pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain Behind The Eyes
  • Swollen Glands
  • A Rash

Most individuals recover dengue fever symptoms within a week, but in some instances, symptoms worsen, becoming life-threatening. This is known as severe dengue, dengue hemorrhagic fever, or dengue shock syndrome.

Severe dengue occurs when your blood vessels get damaged and leaky, leading to a decrease in clot-forming cells (platelets) in your bloodstream. This can result in shock, internal bleeding, organ failure, and even death.

Warning signs of severe dengue, a life-threatening emergency, can develop rapidly. These severe dengue symptoms typically start within the first day or two after your fever goes away and may include:

  • Severe stomach pain
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Bleeding from your gums or nose
  • Blood in your urine, stools, or vomit
  • Bleeding under the skin that looks like bruising
  • Difficult or rapid breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Restlessness

Preventive Measures for Dengue

Following are various preventive measures for dengue:


In regions where dengue fever is prevalent, there's a vaccine called Dengvaxia approved for individuals aged 9 to 45 who have previously experienced dengue fever. The vaccine is administered in three doses over 12 months.

It's authorized only for those with a confirmed history of dengue fever or a blood test indicating past infection with one of the dengue viruses (known as seropositivity). For individuals without a history of dengue (seronegative), receiving the vaccine seems to elevate the risk of severe dengue fever and hospitalization in the future.

Dengvaxia isn't accessible for travelers or those residing in the continental United States. However, in 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sanctioned the vaccine for individuals aged 9 to 16 who had previous dengue fever and lived in U.S. territories like American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where dengue fever is common.

Preventing Mosquito Bites

The World Health Organization emphasizes that the vaccine alone isn't sufficient to reduce dengue fever in endemic areas. The primary methods for preventing the spread of dengue fever are still avoiding mosquito bites and controlling the mosquito population.

  • If you're in or traveling to an area where dengue fever is prevalent, consider these tips to minimize your risk of mosquito bites:
  • Stay in air-conditioned or well-screened housing, especially during peak mosquito activity from dawn to dusk and at night.
  • Wear protective clothing, including long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes, when entering mosquito-prone areas.
  • Use mosquito repellent, applying permethrin to clothing, shoes, camping gear, and bed netting. You can also buy clothing pre-treated with permethrin. On your skin, use a repellent containing at least 10% DEET.
  • Reduce mosquito habitats around your home by eliminating standing water in containers like tires, planters, animal dishes, and flower vases. Clean and cover these containers at least once a week.
  • Prepare a health kit for your travels, including insect repellent to guard against mosquito bites.
  • Consult with a healthcare provider well-versed in travel medicine ideally 4 to 6 weeks before your trip. 
  • Upon your return, promptly see your healthcare provider if you experience symptoms like fever, headache, rash, or muscle and joint pain.

Dengue Treatment & Management of Dengue Symptoms

Dengue fever diagnosis can pose challenges as dengue symptoms being easily mistaken for those of other illnesses like chikungunya, Zika virus, malaria, and typhoid fever.

Your healthcare provider will probably inquire about your medical background and travel history. It's crucial to provide detailed information about your international travels, including the countries visited and dates, along with any potential mosquito exposure.

Additionally, your doctor might collect a blood sample for laboratory testing to detect signs of infection with one of the dengue viruses. There is no specific dengue treatment. During recovery from dengue symptoms, it's important to stay hydrated. If you experience signs of dehydration, such as reduced urination, few or no tears, dry mouth or lips, lethargy, confusion, or cold extremities, contact your doctor promptly.

The over-the-counter drug acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) can be used to alleviate dengue symptoms such as muscle pain and reduce fever. However, if you have dengue fever, it's advised to avoid other over-the-counter pain relievers, including aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), and naproxen sodium (Aleve), as they can increase the risk of bleeding complications associated with dengue fever.

In cases of severe dengue fever, the following may be necessary:

  • Supportive care in a hospital
  • Intravenous (IV) fluid and electrolyte replacement
  • Monitoring of blood pressure
  • Blood transfusion to replace lost blood

To Summarize

Preventive measures are crucial for dengue fever since it's a viral illness, and there's currently no vaccine for the dengue fever treatment. It's important to note that this type of mosquito, being urban, tends to bite during morning and evening hours.

The primary approach for most individuals to prevent dengue fever is to actively avoid mosquito bites. While there is no cure for dengue fever, prompt recognition and dengue treatment can assist in symptom management and reduce the risk of fatalities.

The initial stage of prevention involves being informed. Individuals should be aware of the potential risk of dengue infection, especially when traveling to regions where the infection is prevalent. Having this awareness allows people to take necessary precautions. Having learned the preventive measures for dengue fever, it is crucial to consistently implement them. If you experience symptoms associated with dengue fever, it is recommended to promptly seek advice from your physician or doctor.

Sometimes, people say things that aren't true, so it's really important to get the right information and not to fall prey to false information. Instead, trust Medflick as your reliable guide for accurate, up-to-date, and trustworthy information on dengue symptoms and treatment as well as other health concerns. Your health and well-being deserve nothing less than informed and responsible guidance.

Read in Hindi - Dengue Symptoms and Treatment in Hindi

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