Dengue fever is an acute viral infection characterized by extreme fever, headaches, joint and muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and a rash. Most cases of dengue fever are relatively mild, but some can progress to dengue hemorrhagic fever, which is fatal in about 5 percent of cases. Because dengue fever often occurs while traveling, there are some things to keep in mind in case you come down with the disease while abroad.
Things You'll Need
Understand that the only treatment for dengue fever is resting and drinking plenty of fluids. Fluid replenishment is essential to prevent dehydration, which can be caused by vomiting. Extreme bouts of lethargy are also common with dengue, increasing the need for rest.
Take acetaminophen to help with the muscle and joint pain. Aspirin and ibuprofen should not be used, because they are anticoagulant, which means they inhibit blood clotting.
Stay away from mosquitoes when infected with dengue fever. The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, which carry the disease after biting an infected person. They might transfer it to someone else after biting you.
Seek immediate medical attention if dengue fever progresses into dengue hemorrhagic fever. Hemorrhagic fever is characterized by bleeding from the nose, mouth and gums due to leaking blood vessels.
Seek out intravenous fluids or a blood transfusion if needed from dengue hemorrhagic fever. When left untreated, dengue hemorrhagic fever can lead to the collapsing of blood vessels and can be fatal.
Tips & Warnings
- Dengue fever cannot be spread through person-to-person contact.
- Dengue fever usually lasts about 10 days, but complete recovery can take up to a month.
- There is no vaccine available for the disease.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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