Dengue Fever & Symptoms

Dengue Fever Abatement

Although very rare in Alabama, River Region Pest Control is prepared to help reduce, protect, and control against future Dengue Fever outbreaks in the Montgomery River Region should the need arise.

Aedes Aegypti Mosquito - Dengue Virus - Montgomery, Alabama
Cases of dengue fever have been noted in over 110 countries.

Photo Credit ¹

Dengue Virus

Dengue (pronounced [deng-gey, -gee]) fever is a type of fever caused by the dengue virus.

There are a number of different types of dengue viruses, and they’re all spread by mosquitoes. Because a virus is the cause of this fever, it can’t be treated with antibiotics – only the symptoms can be treated.

History and Origin

Dengue fever most often occurs in subtropical and tropical areas.

Outbreaks have occurred in Central America and the islands in the Caribbean, although the virus has also traveled to Singapore, Tahiti, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and India via tourists.

U.S. tourists who come down with acute febrile illness often do so because of the dengue virus.

Cases of dengue fever have been noted in over 110 countries around the world. There are more than 400 million people infected with dengue fever every year, and out of those, as many as 20,000 die.

The earliest known recorded case of dengue fever is from 1779.

It has rarely been diagnosed in the U.S. In fact, between 1946 and 1980, no cases were reported. Since then, some cases have been identified, most of which were located in states that border Mexico during times when Mexico saw a major dengue outbreak. In 2009, cases were reported in Florida, and in 2015, dengue fever was diagnosed in Hawaii.

Dengue Pronunciation

Learn how to pronounce “Dengue” (Duration: 6 seconds):

Transmission

The dengue virus spreads from being bitten by an Aedes aegypti mosquito that is carrying the virus.

Also known as the “yellow fever mosquito”, this mosquito typically has white markings on its legs and a marking in the form of a lyre on the upper surface of the thorax.

These mosquitoes spread quickly during rainy periods of time or in pooled water. Once bitten, another mosquito can bite the infected person and spread the disease, but dengue fever is not contagious between people.

The incubation period of the dengue fever is between three and 15 days, although the average incubation time is between five and eight days.

Symptoms

Dengue Fever Symptoms Montgomery Alabama

Dengue fever symptoms usually appear slowly.

First, a person will have a headache, chills, feel sluggish, and have pain in their back or when moving their eyes. They may also have loss of appetite. During the first day, they may also start to feel pain in their joints and legs.

Shortly thereafter, they will start to have a high fever, low blood pressure, and low heart rate. They will start to look flushed in the face and have red eyes. Their lymph nodes will begin to swell.

This high fever can last anywhere from a couple of days to four or five.

Once it breaks, their body temperature will rapidly drop, and they will begin to sweat profusely. Following that, the patient will feel fairly normal for about a day. Then they will once again have a fever spike following by an itchy rash.

Despite the fever, less than one percent of all reported cases are fatal. The symptoms usually vanish anywhere from a week to two weeks.

Treatment

There is no way of actually treating dengue fever.

However, the symptoms can be treated by rest, fluids, and over the counter medications.

Prevention

Elimination of Habitat

Vector Control Dengue Virus
A 1920s photograph, taken somewhere in the southern United States, showed workers practicing “vector control” by digging a drainage ditch, in order to help disperse standing water that was acting as a popular breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Photo Credit ²

The World Health Organization recommends an Integrated Vector Control program to help prevent the transmission of Dengue Virus.

Vaccines

There is currently no commercially available vaccine for dengue fever yet, but a limited vaccine has been available in Brazil, the Philippines, and Mexico since December of 2015.

It is used only in areas where dengue fever outbreaks occur at epidemic levels. Other vaccines are also in development.

Footnote(s)

¹ By Muhammad Mahdi Karim (www.micro2macro.net) Facebook Youtube (Own work) [GFDL 1.2], via Wikimedia Commons. (↑ return)

² By Public Health Image Library (PHIL) (http://phil.cdc.gov/Phil/details.asp ID#:7383) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. (↑ return)