Dengue virus (DENV) is an emerging mosquito-borne human pathogen that affects millions of individuals each year by causing severe and potentially fatal syndromes.
Dengue viruses are members of the family Flaviviridae genus Flavivirus. They are small enveloped viruses containing a single-strand RNA genome of positive polarity. Dengue is transmitted between humans by mosquitoes. Dengue virus can be vertically transmitted to the fetus in utero or to the infant at parturition.
Common names for dengue fever include breakbone fever and dandy fever; dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome are the severe forms. Dengue is found in tropical and subtropical climates worldwide, mostly in urban and semiurban areas. People of all ages who are exposed to infected mosquitoes are possible victims of dengue fever. The disease occurs most often during the rainy season in tropical countries in Asia and [South America, with high numbers of infected mosquitoes. The virus is transmitted to humans through the bites of infected female mosquitoes, though humans are not capable of transmitting the disease and are not contagious. The incubation period is 3 to 14 days, while the period of the illness is 3–7 days. Signs and symptoms may include severe headache; retro-orbital pain; muscle, joint, and bone pain; macular or maculopapular rash; and minor hemorrhagic manifestations, including petechiae, ecchymosis, purpura, epistaxis, bleeding gums, hematuria, or a positive tourniquet test result.
The diagnosis of dengue fever is most done clinically and by physical examination.
a. It is aided with CBC which entails a low white blood cell count followed by low platelets and eventually metabolic acidosis.
b. Tourniquet test: involves the application of a blood pressure cuff at between the diastolic and systolic pressure for five minutes, followed by the counting of any petechial hemorrhages; a higher number makes a diagnosis of dengue more likely with the cut off being more than 10 to 20 per 1 inch.
a. Supportive management
b. Oral rehydration therapy
c. Blood transfusions ( only in severe form)
Most people with dengue recover without any ongoing problems. The fatality rate is 1–5%, and less than 1% with adequate treatment; however, those who develop significantly low blood pressure may have a fatality rate of up to 26%.
a. Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants.
b. Treat clothes with repellents like permethrin.
c. Use EPA-registered mosquito repellent like DEET.
d. Consider using mosquito netting if you will be in areas with many mosquitoes.
e. Avoid water collections in artificial containers such as plastic cups, used tires, broken bottles, flower pots, etc
f. Dengue fever vaccine.