|Dengue Fever and DHF|
Q. What is dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF)?
Q. How are dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) spread?
Q. What are the symptoms of the disease?
Dengue hemorrhagic fever is characterized by a fever that lasts from 2 to 7 days, with general signs and symptoms that could occur with many other illnesses (e.g., nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and headache). This stage is followed by hemorrhagic manifestations, tendency to bruise easily or other types of skin hemorrhages, bleeding nose or gums, and possibly internal bleeding. The smallest blood vessels (capillaries) become excessively permeable (“leaky”), allowing the fluid component to escape from the blood vessels. This may lead to failure of the circulatory system and shock, followed by death, if circulatory failure is not corrected.
Q. What is the treatment for dengue?
Q. Is there an effective treatment for dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF)?
Q. Where can outbreaks of dengue occur?
In the America region, all dengue virus serotypes are now present. DEN-3 was reintroduced into Central America in 1994 and is now found in several countries in the region. Since this serotype has been absent from the Americas for almost 20 years, the population has a low level of immunity and the virus is expected to spread rapidly.
Q. What can be done to reduce the risk of acquiring dengue?
Items that collect rainwater or are used to store water (for example, plastic containers, 55-gallon drums, buckets, or used automobile tires) should be covered or properly discarded. Pet and animal watering containers and vases with fresh flowers should be emptied and scoured at least once a week. This will eliminate the mosquito eggs and larvae and reduce the number of mosquitoes present in these areas.
For travelers to areas with dengue, a well as people living in areas with dengue, the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes indoors is reduced by utilization of air conditioning or windows and doors that are screened. Proper application of mosquito repellents containing 20% to 30% DEET as the active ingredient on exposed skin and clothing decreases the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes. The risk of dengue infection for international travelers appears to be small, unless an epidemic is in progress.
Q. How can we prevent epidemics of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF)?
Questions and Answers about Dengue Fever and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. (SOURCE: Center for Disease Control and Prevention, USA)