Dengue Symptoms And Diagnosis

Dengue is a disease caused by viruses, such as the DENV 1, DENV 2, DENV 3 or DENV4. A mosquito bite can transmit the dengue virus to humans. The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the primary vector of dengue viruses. The virus may still be transmitted by other mosquito species but not through person-to-person contact.

Most Dengue cases in the United States occur in people who got the infection while traveling abroad. However, there was an outbreak near Tampa in 2009, particularly in Key West, Florida. As such, activities such as pest control Tampa should be regularly done to keep the harmful mosquitoes away.

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You can also apply insect repellent lotion even when you are indoors to avoid mosquito bites. You can install screens on your doors and windows to keep the pesky mosquito outside your house.

The symptoms cited below usually shows up within four to six days after an infected mosquito bites you. It can last until the 10th day from the date of infection.

  • Severe joint, bone and muscle pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sudden high fever, reaching to 104°F or 40°C
  • Severe headaches
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Skin rash that appears two to five days after the start of fever
  • Bleeding nose or gums or easy bruising

The physician will order a diagnostic testing when they symptoms manifest. The test is performed within two weeks from the onset of the symptoms. There are two types of testing done.

Antibody tests

This test is used to diagnose a current infection. It detects two different classes of antibodies, the IgG and IgM, are produced by the body whenever a dengue virus infects a person. The IgM antibodies are the first to be generated by the body in response to dengue infection that is why it is the test used if the sample is from within seven to ten days after exposure. After a few months, this antibody is almost undetectable. The IgG antibodies are produced much slower, so you can still see traces of it even from past virus infections, could still be detected.

Molecular testing (Polymerase chain reaction, PCR)

This test detects the genetic material of the dengue virus in blood from up to five days after the start of the symptom.

The result of the antibodies testing will depend on the concentration of both IgG and IgM in the sample. On the other hand, the PCR test can detect the presence of the actual virus. Thus, the PCR test is considered the most reliable test to conclude a Dengue infection. However, a negative test could mean that the virus is too small to be detected that is why it is crucial to have it tested again after a few more days.

No specific medicine can treat Dengue. If you are showing symptoms of Dengue, never use medicines with aspirin because it can worsen bleeding. You can use acetaminophen instead. Since the infection is viral, you need to strengthen your immune system. You can do this by having plenty of rest, and drink lots of water. Bring yourself to the hospital as soon as possible so that you can be diagnosed and treated accordingly.