Most of us have heard of the West Nile Virus and the Triple E virus (Eastern Equine Encephalitis), but have you heard of Dengue Fever? Dengue Fever a mosquito born illness and is a serious arboviral disease that is increasingly creeping into the US from other countries – primarily tropical countries. People have been diagnosed with Dengue Fever in Florida, Texas, and other southern states. There is severe pain associated with the disease; and due to this pain, you may hear one refer to Dengue Fever as the ‘break-bone fever’ and the ‘bone crusher disease.’
Four closely related viruses of the genus Falvivirus are the cause of this disease. Transmission begins when a mosquito bites an infected person that has the virus. In turn, that infected mosquito bites another person infecting that person. Nearly a week later, the mosquito can still transmit the virus to a healthy person. Should one get bitten by another mosquito during roughly a 6-day duration – that person is a source for infecting the mosquito. The disease is not spread from person -to- person; however, it can be spread by exposure to an infected person’s blood – just as HIV or Hepatitis B is spread.
These types of mosquitoes bite during the day. An infected person will experience symptoms within 4 -6 days, with the illness lasting 3-14 days. In some individuals it may take a month before they feel better.
- High fever
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe headaches
- Eye pain
- Joint pain
- Rash – 3 to 4 days after signs of the fever
As you can see – many of the symptoms are those one would experience when having the flu. This tends to lead to Dengue Fever to be misdiagnosed. A more severe form of Dengue Fever is called Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. If one has DHF which is the potentially fatal form – they will experience the symptoms below, along with the above symptoms:
- Bleeding nose or gums
- infrequent urination
- Bruising easily or other skin hemorrhages
- Hemorrhagic manifestations
- Possible internal bleeding
At this time, there is no vaccine for it nor is there any other treatment. A blood test can confirm if one has the Dengue Fever. The latter DHF form – if diagnosed early, fluid replacement therapy can be an effective treatment. Children and young adults experience the most fatalities.
So there you have it – protect yourself, your children, your husband, significant other – anyone – from mosquito bites during the day as well as at night. One never knows when that one infected person might be close to you that could be bitten by an infected mosquito – which in turn bites you. Just think – I’ve killed five mosquitoes while typing this! I’m glad it’s not daytime – I’d be closing – feeling ill about now.
To read more about Dengue Fever, head on over to Dr. Mercola’s website. I found he has an in-depth article that is a very interesting read.