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disease Your guide to dengue

Suva doctor gives tips about dengue fever DR RAJESHWAR MAHARAJ suva Dengue fever is a serious disease that is caused by either one of four types of dengue virus. It
10 Mar 2014 12:46

Your guide to dengue

Suva doctor gives tips about dengue fever


DR RAJESHWAR MAHARAJ
suva


Dengue fever is a serious disease that is caused by either one of four types of dengue virus. It is transmitted by a particular species of mosquito named Aedes Aegypti, which bite during day time. It is a disease of human beings. Female mosquitoes depend on a human blood meal to lay their eggs.

Signs and symptoms
After one is bitten by dengue mosquito carrying the dengue virus, symptoms appear after 3 – 14 days. Signs of the disease are very high fever (40°C), severe body pains, joint pains and headache. Majority of patients quickly develop severe body weakness and dehydration requiring immediate treatment. Very high fever lasts from three to five days followed by a characteristic generalised body rash. During this period patients can drop their platelets and are at risk of bleeding.

Treatment
Like many other viruses, there is also no specific treatment for dengue fever. Many patients get easily dehy-drated and therefore it is strongly recommended that patients take a lot of fluid at the onset of their illness. Panadol can be taken every six hours for pain and fever.

Spread of the dengue virus
When a mosquito bites a person who has dengue virus in his or her blood, the mosquito becomes infected with the dengue virus. An infected mosquito can later transmit that virus to healthy people by biting them. Dengue cannot be spread directly from one person to another, and mosquitoes are necessary for transmis-sion of the dengue virus.

Aedes Mosquitoes
The primary vector of the dengue virus is the species Aedes aegypti. It is the principal dengue vector re-sponsible for dengue transmission and dengue epidemics. Aedes aegypti is a small, dark mosquito that can be identified by the white bands on its legs and a silver-white pattern of scales on its body. Aedes aegypti dwell in tropical and subtropical regions all over the world. They generally spend their entire lives in and around the houses where their eggs are hatched.
After a mosquito feeds on the blood of someone infected with the dengue virus, that mosquito becomes a dengue vector. The mosquito must take its blood meal during the period of viremia, when the infected per-son has high levels of the dengue virus in the blood. Once infected with dengue, the mosquito will remain infected with the virus for its entire life.
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