University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Dengue fever is a painful
1.Description of the disease or condition
The Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. Dengue is prevalent throughout the tropics and subtropics. Because dengue fever is caused by a virus, there is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat it. For typical dengue fever, the treatment is purely concerned with relief of the symptoms. The acute phase of the illness with fever and myalgias (muscle pain) lasts about one to two weeks. Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a specific syndrome that tends to affect children under 10 years of age. It causes abdominal pain, hemorrhage (bleeding), and circulatory collapse (shock). The Dengue fever is a painful, debilitating mosquito-borne disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses. These viruses are related to the viruses that cause West Nile infection and yellow fever.
Symptoms include headache, fever, exhaustion, severe joint and muscle pain, swollen glands and rash. The presence of fever, rash, and headache (and other pains) is particularly characteristic of dengue fever. Fever A red, raised, lattice-like rash, usually on the chest, back, and abdomen Swollen, tender, red, and extremely painful joints — particularly the knees or ankles Nodules, or small protuberances, over the swollen joints Sometimes, weakness and shortness of breath caused by heart involvement Sometimes, uncontrolled movements of arms, legs, or facial muscles called chorea. These symptoms often begin one to six weeks after a strep throat infection has appeared to clear up….Symptoms, which usually begin four to six days after infection and last for up to 10 days, may include: •Sudden, high fever
•Pain behind the eyes
•Severe joint and muscle pain
•Skin rash, which appears three to four days after the onset of fever •Mild bleeding (such a nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising) Sometimes symptoms are mild and can be mistaken for those of the flu or another viral
infection. Younger children and people who have never had the infection before tend to have milder cases than older children and adults. However, serious problems can develop. These include dengue hemorrhagic fever, a rare complication characterized by high fever, damage to lymph and blood vessels, bleeding from the nose and gums, enlargement of the liver, and failure of the circulatory system. The symptoms may progress to massive bleeding, shock, and death. This is called dengue shock syndrome (DSS).
3. Cause/ risk factors
Each year, an estimated 100 million cases of dengue fever occur worldwide. Most of these are in tropical areas of the world, with the greatest risk occurring in: •The Indian subcontinent
•The Pacific Islands
• The Caribbean (except Cuba and the Cayman Islands)
•Central and South America (except Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina) Most cases in the United States occur in people who contracted the infection while traveling abroad. But the risk is increasing for people living along the Texas-Mexico border and in other parts of the southern United States. In 2009, an outbreak of dengue fever was identified in Key West, Fla. Dengue fever is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with a dengue virus. The mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person with dengue virus in their blood. It can’t be spread directly from one person to another person. 4. Treatment of the disease or condition
The prevention of dengue fever requires control or eradication (elimination) of the mosquitoes carrying the virus that causes dengue. There is currently no vaccine available for dengue fever. There is no specific medicine to treat dengue infection. If you think you may have dengue fever, you should use pain relievers with acetaminophen and avoid medicines with aspirin, which could worsen bleeding. You should also rest, drink plenty of fluids,
and see your doctor. If you start to feel worse in the first 24 hours after your fever goes down, you should get to a hospital immediately to be checked for complications. To protect yourself you can:
•Stay away from heavily populated residential areas, if possible. •Use mosquito repellents, even indoors.
•When outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks. •When indoors, use air conditioning if available.
•Make sure window and door screens are secure and free of holes. If sleeping areas are not screened or air conditioned, use mosquito nets. •If you have symptoms of dengue, speak to your doctor.
To reduce the mosquito population, get rid of places where mosquitoes can breed. These include old tires, cans, or flower pots that collect rain. Regularly change the water in outdoor bird baths and pets’ water dishes. If someone in your home gets dengue fever, be especially vigilant about efforts to protect yourself and other family members from mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that bite the infected family member could spread the infection to others in your home.
5. Body systems involved
The whole body is affected as the dengue virus effects immune system. Liver is damaged after the disease is over. Most of the patients feel the body pains even after the virus is over. The blood platelet count is decreased and the bleeding problems are very frequent among the dengue patients. Skin marks caused by dengue disappear with the passage of time. People with weakened immune systems as well as those with a second or subsequent dengue infection are believed to be at greater risk for developing dengue hemorrhagic fever.
6. Countries where the disease or condition is found
Outbreaks have occurred recently in the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Cuba, and in Paraguay in South America, and Costa Rica in Central America. Although the dengue fever rarely occurs in the continental United States, it is endemic in Puerto Rico, and in many popular
tourist destinations in Latin America and Southeast Asia; periodic outbreaks occur in Samoa and Guam.