Dengue fever

    • Brief

    • Dengue fever is a virus infection that is spread by the Aedes mosquito and that can lead to severe illness. Dengue fever is most often found in the tropics in South and Middle America, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Islands. It also frequently occurs in East Africa and less frequently in West Africa, including Nigeria. There are no specific treatments for Dengue fever, but your healthcare provider will recommend medicines to control the symptoms of dengue fever.

    • What are the symptoms?

    • The symptoms of dengue include:

      • Pain behind the eyes.
      • Nausea or vomiting.
      • Severe headache.
      • Body and joint pain.

      In the more severe form of dengue, the symptoms vary from black stool and extreme thirst to bleeding from the nose, gums and mouth.

    • What are the causes?

    • An infection of the dengue virus causes dengue fever. The virus is passed on when an infected mosquito feeds on you.

    • What are the things that put you at risk?

    • You have a greater risk of contracting dengue if you:

      • Live in or travel to tropical places such as Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
      • Have had dengue fever in the past.
      • Are overweight.
      • Are a child, because children's immune systems are weaker than adults.

    • When to visit a doctor?

    • If you develop any symptoms that point to dengue fever, see your healthcare provider immediately, especially if you have visited a region recently with known cases of dengue fever.

    • How to prevent?

    • The best way to prevent dengue fever is to protect yourself from being bitten by infected mosquitoes. If you live in a tropical area, you can do this by always sleeping under long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets (LLIN), wearing covering clothes when outside in the evenings, spraying indoors with residual insecticide sprays, using mosquito repellant creams and keeping your environment free of stagnant water and low bushes.

      If you are between 9 and 16 years old, a vaccine can protect you when bitten. Dengvaxia helps prevent the disease from occurring in adolescents who the dengue virus has already infected. There currently is no vaccine to prevent the general population from contracting it.

    • How to manage and treat?

    • Self-care tips

      If you have dengue fever, you can do the following to help relieve your symptoms:

      • Hydrate yourself by taking lots of water.
      • Taking pain relievers to ease fever and joint pain.
      • Get plenty of rest.

      Medical treatment

      There is no treatment for dengue fever, and as such, your healthcare provider can only prescribe medications to relieve the symptoms that arise due to the disease. The treatments to relieve the symptoms include the following:

      • It would help if you used an over-the-counter painkiller like paracetamol. You should not use Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin since they can worsen bleeding.
      • Physical therapy.

    • Kulawa cares

    • Always sleep under long-lasting insecticide-treated nets or paint indoors with residual insecticides to control mosquitoes. Ensure you cover water storage in the house to prevent the mosquitoes from laying eggs in it. The most important treatment is preventing infection, ensuring you control mosquitoes or prevent their bite is really important.

      If you are already infected, treatment does not relieve symptoms immediately. You must patiently cooperate with your healthcare provider as they treat and support you to good health.