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Fever - Fever in Thailand
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Fever - Fever in Thailand

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A fever occurs when your temperature rises above its normal range. What's normal for you may be a little higher or lower than the average temperature of  37 C. That's why it's hard to say just what a fever is. But a "significant" fever is usually defined as an oral or ear temperature of 38 C or a rectal temperature of 39 C. If you're an adult, a fever may be uncomfortable, but it usually isn't dangerous unless it rises above 39 C. For very young children and infants, however, even slightly elevated temperatures may indicate a serious infection. In newborns, a subnormal temperature - rather than a fever - may be a sign of serious illness.

VIRUSES THAT CAUSE DENGUE FEVER

Dengue fever can be caused by any one of four types of dengue virus: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. A person can be infected by at least two, if not all four types at different times during a life span, but only once by the same type.

TRANSMISSION

People get dengue virus infections from the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they bite infected humans, and later transmit infection to other people they bite. The two main species of mosquito, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, have been responsible for all cases of dengue transmitted in this country. Dengue is not contagious from person to person.

SYMPTOMS

Symptoms of typical uncomplicated (classic) dengue usually start with fever within 5 to 6 days after you have been bitten by an infected mosquito and include

 

  • High fever, up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Severe Headache
  • Retro-orbital (behind the eye) pain
  • Severe joint and muscle pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rash

The rash may appear over most of your body 3 to 4 days after the fever begins. A second rash may appear later in the disease.

Symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever include all of the symptoms of classic dengue plus

  • Marked damage to blood and lymph vessels
  • Bleeding from the nose, gums, or under the skin, causing purplish bruises

This form of dengue disease causes some deaths .

Symptoms of dengue shock syndrome—the most severe form of dengue disease—include all of the symptoms of classic dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever, plus

  • Fluids leaking outside of blood vessels
  • Massive bleeding
  • Shock

This form of the disease usually occurs in children (sometimes adults) experiencing their second dengue infection. The fatality rate is 5 to 15 percent.

DIAGNOSIS

Your health care provider can diagnose dengue fever by doing two blood tests, 2 to 3 weeks apart. The tests can show whether a sample of your blood contains antibodies to the virus. In epidemics, a health care provider often can diagnose dengue by typical signs and symptoms.

TREATMENT

There is no specific treatment for classic dengue fever, and like most people you will recover completely within 2 weeks. To help with recovery, health care experts recommend

  • Getting plenty of bed rest
  • Drinking lots of fluids
  • Taking medicine to reduce fever

CDC advises people with dengue fever not to take aspirin. Acetaminophen or other over-the-counter pain-reducing medicines are safe for most people.

For severe dengue symptoms, including shock and coma, early and aggressive emergency treatment with fluid and electrolyte replacement can be lifesaving.

PREVENTION

The best way to prevent dengue fever is to take special precautions to avoid contact with mosquitoes. Several dengue vaccines are being developed, but none is likely to be licensed by the Food and Drug Administration in the next few years.

When outdoors in an area where dengue fever has been found

  • Use a mosquito repellant containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus
  • Dress in protective clothing—long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes

Because Aedes mosquitoes usually bite during the day, be sure to use precautions especially during early morning hours before daybreak and in the late afternoon before dark.

Other precautions include

  • Keeping unscreened windows and doors closed
  • Keeping window and door screens repaired
  • Getting rid of areas where mosquitoes breed, such as standing water in flower pots, containers, birdbaths, discarded tires, etc.

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Disclaimer

This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 12:39 AM