Dengue Fever Symptoms

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms typically begin three to fourteen days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash. Dengue infections are caused by four closely related viruses named DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. These four viruses are called serotypes because each has different interactions with the antibodies in human blood serum. It is possible to get dengue fever multiple times. However, an attack of dengue produces immunity for a lifetime to that particular viral dengue serotype to which the patient was exposed. Dengue goes by other names, including breakbone fever or dandy fever.

How Long Does Dengue Fever Last

Symptoms of infection usually start about four to 15 days after a mosquito bite transfers the viruses to the human. In most instances, the disease lasts about three to 10 days, although a few patients’ symptoms may last longer. During the incubation period, large amounts of the virus are present in the person’s blood just before the person becomes symptomatic; this is when a mosquito that may be uninfected can pick up viruses that can be transferred to other humans. However, the virus has to develop within the mosquito for a few days before it is ready for transfer during the blood meal.

How serious is it

Half a million patients are hospitalized each year, but most people recover after two to seven days. Some develop dengue hemorrhagic fever after the initial temperature declines a more severe form of the illness that can cause organ damage, severe bleeding, dehydration, and even death. But with early treatment, the mortality rate for all dengue fever is currently fewer than 1 of 100 people.

Treatment and cure

Patients are given medicine for their symptoms and told to drink lots of water. No cure yet, but researchers are testing vaccines. Another way to cure the virus causes dengue fever. For typical dengue fever, the treatment is directed toward relief of the symptoms. Papaya leaf extract can treat dengue fever.