Dengue fever is an annual and national risk in Pakistan. While dengue is endemic in coastal areas of Balochistan, activity has historically been highest in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Authorities reported 3,442 cases of dengue fever in Pakistan in 2017, more than 3,200 in 2018, nearly 24,547 cases in 2019, and 3,442 cases in 2020. The current outbreak has caused 16,580 confirmed cases and 257 deaths. day in Lahore, and almost 5,000 cases and 60 deaths were reported in the rest of the country. (WHO)
“Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes” that causes severe flu-like illness and sometimes causes a life-threatening complication called severe dengue, according to the World Health Organization. Dengue fever is prevalent in poor areas, suburbs, and the countryside, affecting richer neighborhoods in tropical and subtropical countries. It’s a treatable condition and can easily be managed at home. You can talk to the best online doctor. Book a tele appointment with a doctor and get expert medical advice from home.
Identification of Dengue Virus Disease
Dengue Fever (Bone Breaking Fever)
Dengue fever classically presents as an acute febrile illness of sudden onset. It is extremely debilitating. The most common symptoms include:
- High-grade fever lasting 3 to 5 days
- Myalgia (especially back pain)
- Arthralgia (joint pain)
- Retro orbital pain
- Stomach ache
Children tend to have milder symptoms and a lower likelihood of complications and death as compared to adults. Recovery from infection with one dengue virus serotype results in immunity but does not protect against disease with other serotypes. If you or a family member is experiencing such symptoms, talk to the best doctor online and get treated from home.
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a serious complication of dengue virus infection, with a high mortality rate. The death rate from DHF without DSS is usually 1-5%. Death from DHF is thought to be caused by an immune boost when a person with antibodies to dengue fever due to a previous infection is subsequently infected with a dengue virus of a different serotype.
How Long Does it Take to Show Symptoms?
The incubation period refers to the time elapsed between exposure to the virus and the onset of symptoms. For dengue, the incubation period is generally short but varies from 3 to 14 days. There is no evidence of human-to-human transmission. However, humans are infectious to mosquitoes during periods of high viremia, just before the end of the febrile period. It is usually 3-5 days.
Mode of Transmission of Dengue Virus
Humans are the only vertebrate hosts for the virus. Dengue fever is not passed directly from person to person. Only infected mosquitoes transmit the dengue virus. The mosquito is thought to contract the virus when it bites an infected person. The mosquito is then infected for the rest of its life and can spread the virus every time it bites someone.
Diagnosis can be determined with the following tests:
- Isolation of dengue virus
- Detection of dengue virus by nucleic acid test
- Detection of the non-structural antigen of dengue one protein (NS1) in the blood
Early diagnosis (within five days after the onset of the disease) can be easily achieved through the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test; subsequent diagnosis (5 days or more after the beginning of the disease) can be made by detection of IgM. In addition, the NS1 antigen test can be performed from the onset of the disease up to 9 days after the start of dengue. You can get a quick initial Diagnosis on a video call. Book a tele appointment with a doctor today.
Susceptibility and Resistance to Dengue Virus Disease
Recovery from infection with a dengue virus serotype confers lifelong immunity against that serotype but does not protect against disease with the dengue virus. It is, therefore, possible to contract dengue fever up to four times. A person who has had dengue fever in the past has a greater risk of DHF or DSS if they are infected again. Book a tele appointment with a doctor to get quick healthcare from the best doctor online for recurring dengue infections.
Dengue Control Measures
Dengue can be prevented with:
- Mosquito control measures
- Individual protection measures, such as long sleeves
- Using personal repellents containing diethyltoluamide (DEET) or picaridin
- Avoid areas prone to mosquitoes and vector bite times (sunset and sunrise).
- Control case
- Investigate the source of the infection.
Environmental Monitoring and Control
If a person is found to have contracted the disease, the following measures may be taken:
- Find and eliminate breeding sites of Aedes aegypti in the urban area.
- Educate through mass communication to reduce potential breeding grounds.
- Use mosquito repellents, bed nets, and other methods of personal protection.
- Aedes aegypti control near airports.
- Prevents the importation of new vectors, such as Aedes albopictus.
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