• Virendra Singh

Symptoms of dengue fever, its treatment, and prevention

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

Dengue is caused by 4 different viruses, which is spread by Aedes Aegypti. Symptoms may vary from mild to severe. Severe symptoms like DSS and DHF require hospitalization. Currently, there are no vaccines for dengue. The treatment will be possible if it is diagnosed early. Here are some facts about Dengue fever.

Dengue fever, Symptoms of dengue, Dengue home remedy, Dengue prevention

Dengue fever, which is also known as breakbone fever, is caused by mosquito bite infection that can result in a severe flu-like illness. Dengue is generally caused by 4 different viruses, which is spread by Aedes Aegypti.

Symptoms may vary from mild to severe. Severe symptoms like dengue shock syndrome (DSS) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) require hospitalization.

Currently, there are no vaccines for dengue, so the best way to avoid dengue is to prevent yourself from mosquito bites. The treatment will be possible if it is diagnosed before the patient develops dengue shock syndrome or dengue hemorrhagic fever.

According to the data from National Vector Bore Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) and National Health Profile, dengue cases increased up to 188,401 in 2017.

Here are some facts about Dengue fever

Listed below are a few key points regarding dengue fever. More detail is explained in the main article.

  • Dengue is spread by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, they are found almost everywhere in the world.

  • Almost 2.5 billion people, or 40% of the world's population, reside in areas where there is a risk of dengue transmission.

  • Dengue is endemic in almost a hundred countries in Asia, the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and the Caribbean.

  • Symptoms usually develop within 4 to 7 days after the mosquito bite and typically last 3 to 14 days.

  • The treatment can be done if it is diagnosed early.

Signs and symptoms

Aedes mosquitoes spread dengue fever.

Symptoms of the disease may vary depending on the severity.

Mild dengue fever

After being bitten by the mosquito carrying dengue virus, it might take up to 7 days for symptoms to appear.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain in joints and muscles

  • Frequent appearance and disappearance of rash in body

  • High fever

  • Severe headache

  • Pain behind the eyes

  • Feeling of nausea and vomiting

  • Usually, upon having mild dengue the patient might not be in serious or fatal complications. The symptoms might disappear after a week.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF)

During dengue hemorrhagic fever, initially the symptoms may be mild, but later it can worsen gradually in a few days. There may be signs of internal bleeding as well.

During DHF, the patient may experience:

  • The patient may experience bleeding from nose, mouth, and gums

  • Clammy skin

  • Injury to tissue fluid and blood vessels

  • Bleeding internally, which might lead to vomit

  • Reduced platelets count in the blood

  • Stomach upset

  • Tiny blood spots beneath the skin

  • Weak pulse

In the absence of immediate treatment, DHF can be deadly.

Dengue shock syndrome (DSS)

Dengue shock syndrome is an acute form of dengue. It can be deadly.

Apart from symptoms of mild dengue fever, the patient may experience the following:

  • Severe abdominal pain

  • Discomfort

  • Sudden decrease in BP or hypotension

  • Massive bleeding

  • Regular vomiting

  • Blood vessels leaking fluid

If a person is experiencing the above symptoms, the person should immediately avail of the treatment. If the treatment is not taken immediately, it can result in death.


There is no specific treatment for dengue as it is a virus. Still, an intervention can help, provided how worst the condition is.

Treatment for mild dengue includes:

  • Keep yourself hydrated: During dengue, high fever and vomiting will dehydrate the body, so to avoid this the patient should drink lots of water to ensure his body is fully hydrated.

  • Pain reliever: Tylenol or paracetamol can help reduce fever and pain.

The patient is advised to avoid the use of NSAIDs, like aspirin and ibuprofen, as the risk of internal bleeding increases.

Treatment for severe dengue fever may need:

  • IV fluids supplementation, if the patient is unable to take fluids by mouth

  • Transfusion of packed RBCs or platelets, if the platelet levels become too low

During hospitalization, the patient will be monitored properly, in case the symptoms get worse.

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