Updated: Sep 26, 2018
Dengue fever is an infectious disease carried by mosquitoes. There are three types of dengue fever in order of less severe to most: the typical uncomplicated dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHS) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS).
Facts and figures for Dengue fever
Most dengue fever are found during the rainy season, between April and December, as rainfall causes an increased number of stagnant water locations. Additionally the Health Service Support Department has assigned village health workers to do inspections and provide residents with proper instructions of how to prevent infection from dengue fever infection, particularly in schools, hospitals and homes. More than 136,000 cases of dengue fever, the world’s fastest spreading tropical disease, have been confirmed so far this year, with the highest concentration of cases in and around the capital Bangkok and in the northern province of Chiang Mai. Since the beginning of the year through Sept 10, Thailand has reported a total of 54,808 cases were reported from all 77 provinces, including 69 deaths. The World health organization (WHO) estimates there may be 50 – 100 million dengue infections worldwide every year.
What are the symptoms?
Once a person is bitten by a virus-carrying mosquito, symptoms only appear after an incubation period of three to 15 days (5 to 8 days in most cases). Dengue fever’s most common symptoms include:
· Pain behind the eyes
· High fever, up to 104° F / 40° C; usually persist for two to four days, and a drop in temperature.
· Headaches, muscle; joint; bone pain and neck pain
· Unexplained lethargy, loss of appetite, profuse sweating
· Nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea
· Skin rash that usual starts around the abdomen.
How to treat dengue?
There is no specific treatment for dengue fever, but it’s important to see your doctor if you develop dengue-like symptoms. In mild cases, doctors usually recommend patients drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. More severe dengue cases require hospital admission. Less than 1% of dengue cases are fatal.
It is important that travelers show great attention to detail and are very careful.
- It’s important to empty standing water from places mosquitoes breed such as discarded old tires, trash cans and flower pots.
- Wearing neutral-colored (beige, light grey) clothing, long pants and long-sleeve shirts helps guard against mosquito bites
- Consider using a mosquito repellent containing 20%-30% DEET or 20% Picaridin on exposed skin when visiting places where dengue is endemic.
- If available spray outer layer clothing and gear with permethrin.
- Apply sunscreen first followed by the repellent (preferably 20 minutes later).
- Mosquitoes are attracted to light, so keeping the light outside on would keep most of the mosquitoes out.
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