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What are the symptoms of dengue fever?

390 million is the number of dengue infections that occur worldwide according to the WHO, an astonishingly large number of them being kids. The Indian Sub-continent in particular is a hub for the dengue carrying mosquitoes. A lot of parents have questions as to what are the symptoms of dengue fever and its treatment.

Before getting into the symptoms it is necessary to know the cause of this rather traumatic infection.

Dengue is also known as “break bone fever” or “dandy fever. It is caused by four strains of a certain type of virus. The Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes are usually the carriers that spread the infection. Being a viral infection there is no direct treatment available for the fever. As of today there are no vaccines available either. However attempts are being made to create a vaccine to reduce the death toll due to dengue fever.

To answer the question about what the symptoms of dengue fever are, here is a brief list of symptoms

  1. Sudden high fever that can possibly go up to 105?F
  2. Sudden headaches
  3. Severe muscle and joint pain
  4. Swollen lymph nodes
  5. Skin Rashes
  6. Exhaustion
  7. Pain in the eye sockets
  8. Nausea and vomiting
  9. Mild bleeding in the nose and or gums

Dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) syndrome is highly likely to affect kids under 10 years of age. DHF causes abdominal pains, haemorrhage and circulatory shock.  Fever, rash and headache occurring together are known as the dengue triad. The symptoms of dengue are similar to those of the viral flu and can be misdiagnosed.

Knowing what the symptoms of dengue fever are is not enough, alertness to detect and treat it in time is a must. Dengue being a viral infection does not have any antibiotics that can be used for treatment. Symptomatic treatment is the only way to go. Medication for the symptoms to provide relief to the patients is the only treatment that can be provided.

Dengue causes loss of plasma and thus dehydration. It is imperative that dengue patients, kids and adults both be kept well hydrated to ensure that the symptoms stay under control and manageable. The body is recovering and thus should be supported with light nutritious meals and adequate rest.

Dengue is one of those infections that can get very bad very fast. To avoid complications care should be taken to monitor the symptoms and their severity at regular intervals. If the symptoms seem to be worsening, it is advisable to put the patient under the medical care of a doctor in a hospital. Hospitals are better equipped and the staff better trained to handle such situations.

While the symptoms of dengue may sound terrifying, if caught in time and treated well dengue is manageable. The best treatment however is to keep the kids mosquito safe to start with in the first place. Better to be cautious now than sorry later on.

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