Everything You Should Know About Dengue Fever: Causes, Prevention And Treatment
Have you ever heard of Dengue Fever? It is a widespread disease in Nigeria also known as break-bone fever because it affects the joints. However, it is not well known.
Dengue fever, also known as breakbone fever is an infection caused by mosquitoes. But according to GMA network, Spanish health authorities recently confirmed a case where a man spread dengue fever by sex. This is a first. Before now the fever was thought to be spread only by a particular group of mosquitoes.
However, a 41-year-old man got the fever after having sex with his partner, and this is confusing for doctors. This is because the man has not travelled to any country where the disease is common. But he started to show symptoms of the fever after having sex with his partner. Susana Jimenez works with Madrid region’s Public Health Department. She says that the man’s partner had the same symptoms as him, but his symptoms became lighter ten days early. And he had visited Cuba and the Dominican Republic before. Therefore, an analysis of their sperm was done and it showed that they had dengue. The same virus circulating in Cuba.
What is dengue fever?
Dengue fever is called breakbone fever because it sometimes causes serious joint and muscle pain that makes you feel like your bones are breaking. Dengue fever has been diagnosed in Nigeria for many years, and surveys have shown that the virus is widespread in the country. But there’s little information about it and therefore is not given a lot of attention. Another reason for this is that people often mistake it for something else because of similar symptoms.
Furthermore, most people recover from fever after a week. But if not properly treated it can become more serious. And in its worst form, the infection causes death. In this state, your blood vessels can become damaged. The more serious form of dengue fever is called hemorrhagic fever. And a person can have the fever up to four times in their lifetime.
Symptoms of dengue fever
For children and teenagers, the symptoms are often mild, which is why it is mistaken for the flu or early signs of malaria. In most cases, children don’t even have any symptoms. This is mostly because they have never had a fever before. However, if symptoms do occur they do so four to six days after the infection and may last up to ten days. Symptoms include:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Swollen glands
- Pain in the eyeballs
- Shivering and sweating
- Sore throat
However, as previously stated, dengue fever can become serious. And in a more serious state, the symptoms are different. Therefore, to know if it is becoming more severe, these are the symptoms you should look out for:
- Difficulty breathing
- Blood in urine and vomit
- Nose bleeding
- Gum bleeding
- Vomiting again and again
- Cold skin (shock)
Prevention of dengue fever
Vaccines are only available for people between ages 9-45. This is because older children are more at risk of getting the fever. Moreover, the vaccine is not available everywhere. They give it in areas where the fever is common. Other than the vaccine, prevention includes:
- Wearing clothes that cover most of your skin.
- Using mosquito repellents at home.
- Making sure that your windows and doors have nets.
- Avoid using perfumed soaps as this attracts more mosquitoes to your skin.
- Try to stay indoors in the early morning and early evening.
- Flush any water that is not flowing in your home or anywhere near it.
Treatment of dengue fever
- Your body loses a lot of water during the fever, either through sweating or vomiting. So drink a lot of water.
- Neem leaves (Dogon Yaro) are good for the treatment of this fever. Steep the leaves in hot water for some time before drinking. The drink improves your immune system, fighting off the fever quickly.
- Papaya leaves raise your vitamin C levels and improve your immune system. Crush the leaves and then filter with a cloth to make juice.
- Orange juice helps you urinate more during the fever. This way more toxins leave your body quickly.
However, it is safer to see your doctor immediately you notice the symptoms. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, don’t try to treat it at home. Please see your doctor urgently.