Dengue Disease, Risks, Symptoms, Prevention, and Treatment

What Is Dengue?

Dengue is a viral disease that is primarily transmitted by mosquitoes. When a person is bitten by a mosquito infected with the dengue virus, the virus enters their bloodstream. It then triggers an immune response, which along with the replication of the virus, can cause inflammation and damage to blood vessels, leading to the characteristic symptoms of dengue. 

Dengue is most commonly found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world. It is primarily found in areas with warm and humid climates, where mosquito populations thrive. Some of the regions with high dengue prevalence include Asia, Middle East, the Pacific Islands, South America, and Africa.

Risk of Dengue

Anyone can get dengue if they are bitten by an infected mosquito. However, certain factors can increase the risk of developing severe dengue. These include previous dengue infection, being a child or an older adult, having a weakened immune system, and certain underlying medical conditions. Living in or traveling to areas with high mosquito populations also increases the risk. 

Prevention of Dengue

Preventing dengue primarily involves controlling mosquito populations and avoiding mosquito bites. Here are some tips to minimize the risk: 

  • Remove standing water: Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so it’s important to eliminate or regularly change the water in containers, flower pots, and other areas where water can accumulate.
  • Use mosquito repellents: Apply mosquito repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to exposed skin and clothing. Use bed nets treated with insecticides while sleeping.
  • Wear protective clothing: Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes, especially during peak mosquito activity times, such as dawn and dusk.
  • Keep windows and doors screened: Use window and door screens or install mosquito nets to prevent mosquitoes from entering living spaces.

Treatment for Dengue

There is no specific antiviral treatment for dengue. Most cases can be managed with supportive care, which includes rest, hydration, and pain relief with acetaminophen (paracetamol).

It is important to avoid medications like aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that can increase the risk of bleeding. Severe cases of dengue may require hospitalization and close monitoring to manage complications and provide necessary medical interventions.

Connect with your Rockdoc Travel Medicine Professional here to book a consultation to discuss your trip and obtain the prescription and vaccinations to travel with peace of mind. 

We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the provided information, however, it is not feasible for us to update daily. Please book a virtual consultation with one of our Travel Medicine Professionals for current, personalized advice and answers to any questions you may have.

Symptoms of Dengue

The symptoms of dengue can vary from mild to severe. The most common symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Severe headache
  • Joint & muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Fatigue

Some individuals may also experience:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Mild bleeding (nosebleeds or gum bleeding)

In severe cases, dengue can lead to a more serious condition called dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can cause:

  • Bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Rare cases, death 

Available travel vaccinations and medications

We offer the following travel vaccinations and medications:

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