In the tropical regions of the world, dengue fever is spread by the bite of mosquitoes. The two kinds of mosquitoes are the Aedes albopictu and Aedes aegypti. The females become carriers of the virus Flaviviridae after biting an infected person.
Dengue fever symptoms are similar to the flu, while dengue hemorrhagic fever is a more severe infection. This type produces bleeding, sometimes shock, and may cause death.
Controlling the spread of dengue fever is done through the use of chemicals. Also, prevention of the spread of the disease is accomplished through health education and locating breading areas.
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1. Each year, there are an estimated 50 to 100 million cases of dengue fever. There are about 5 million hospitalizations from the more severe dengue hemorrhagic fever yearly.
Dengue fever is found in adults and older children. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is severe in children.
Worldwide, the incidence of dengue has been highest in Thailand, India, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
2. This tropical fever is marked by high fever and severe muscle and joint pains. The symptoms can progress to dengue hemorrhagic fever, which results in bleeding. This can be followed by dengue shock syndrome, in which the person goes into shock.
3. It is thought that by having a virus that the body will build an immunity to it. This means that there won’t be a future infection. In fact, the dengue virus is part of a group of viruses. There are four types called serotypes. An infection by one doesn’t provide immunity from the others. Further infections can be more severe than the initial one.
4. A University of Georgia team studied why infections of large groups of people to increase and then decrease. The study indicates that an increase in antibodies that result from a dengue infection of one type are high so that the body is protected for a time from other types of dengue. “Temporary cross-immunity has been ignored by the epidemiological community,” said study co-author Pejman Rohani, associate professor of ecology and UGA Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute researcher.
5. The development of dengue fever is similar to that of the flu. It lasts for 2 to 7 days. There is unusually low blood pressure for the age of the patient, a sudden continuous fever, low blood pressure, severe headache and shock.
The next stage is dengue syndrome with pain behind the eyes and severe muscle, joint, abdominal and back pain. Along with this, there is nausea and vomiting.
6. Dengue fever is a public health problem. The causes are due to population growth, poor urban planning where there is overcrowding resulting in poor sanitation and limited water sources. Sources for the breeding of the carrier mosquitoes have increased due to standing water in plastic containers. Also, increased mobility means that infected people can spread the disease to a greater distance. There is also a need for improved control of mosquito populations.
7. The mosquitoes that spread dengue fever are originally from Africa. It bred in puddles that formed for a brief time following rain. It required elevated humidity and rain.