Dengue fever

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Dengue fever is a widespread viral infection in the tropical and subtropical regions[1]. It is a RNA virus with four serotypes[2]. Aedes aegypti, a species of mosquito, is the main vector of this infection to another living beings[3]. Other routes of transmission include organ transplantation and blood transfusion[4]. Dengue fever will not spread from touching another infected humans[5]. The incubation period of the dengue virus is usually 4-7 days. Once exposed, symptoms such as sudden onset high fever (as high as 41ºC), pain behind the eyeballs, aching of the bones and jones start to develop between 3-14 days. The patients may also experience shivering, abdominal pain, nausea, vomitting, rashes and loss of appetite[6][7]. However, it should be noted that Dengue fever is just a severe flu-like sickness that will not lead to death. 

Currently, there is no cure available for Dengue fever. The doctors would probably prescribed the patients with painkiller such as paracetamol (aspirin, ibuprofen, andnaproxen will lead to more bleeding if given to Dengue patients[8]) to relieve the symptoms of fever, joint and head ache. In some serious cases, the patients might need to be hospitalised or go throught blood transfusion[9].

The bad news is that unlike some other virus infections, there is no vaccination against Dengue fever at the moment. However, the good news is, there are many simple and quick ways to fight the vectors. Aedes aegypti can be recognised by its white and black stripes on the body. They like to breed in stagnant water that can be found in the gardens of the houses for example[10]. Thus it is advisable to change the flowerpots' water or any other water storage containers frequently and apply insecticide to areas that accumulate water easily[11] (such as drains). 

References

  1. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/dengue/Pages/Introduction.aspx
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19392949
  3. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs117/en/
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19392949
  5. http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/diseases_and_conditions/d/dengue.html
  6. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs117/en/
  7. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/dengue/Pages/Symptoms.aspx
  8. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001374.htm
  9. http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/diseases_and_conditions/d/dengue.html
  10. http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/diseases_and_conditions/d/dengue.html
  11. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs117/en/
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