Dengue is an illness caused by a virus that is spread by some species of mosquito. It is important to recognize the symptoms of Dengue and to seek treatment soon to avoid worsening your condition.
Dengue has become a disease of concern in Singapore. Not every person who is infected by Dengue will become sick. Many people may show no signs of illness at all even though they are infected.
It is also very possible to have only mild symptoms of illness that a person may confuse with other diseases. In other cases, the illness may be severe and if not treated when severe can carry a risk of death of 20%. It is, therefore, important to take the illness seriously and watch for common signs and symptoms of worsening of the condition.
Common Symptoms of Dengue
The most common symptoms of dengue are as follows:
- A persistent fever
- A high fever of 40oC
- A rash of small red spots that are itchy and spread over the body first beginning on the arms and legs.
- A bad headache
- Pain in the joints
- Pain in the muscles
- Pain behind the eyes
- Nausea and vomiting
Many of the signs like high fever and muscle and joint aches are also typical of influenza, but it is important to get tested for Dengue, particularly if you have recently been bitten by mosquitoes. The symptoms can appear from about one week to 10 days after a bite. The symptoms of mild Dengue will last about 7 days.
Symptoms of Severe Dengue
There is a 5% chance of severe illness if you have Dengue. People who have severe Dengue need to be treated in a hospital to prevent the condition from worsening and leading to complications and possible death. There are some indications that a person has the severe form of Dengue, these symptoms are listed below:
- Pain in the stomach
- Vomiting at least 3 times a day
- Passing blood in the stool
- Vomiting blood
- Severe pain in the stomach
- Becoming restless
- Feeling irritable
Complications from Severe Dengue
Severe Dengue can result in dangerous complications and there is a risk of death if the person is not treated quickly.
Once dengue has progressed to include bleeding it is known as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever and this can cause blood clots and severe blood loss. Blood pressure can drop very low and the person may show signs of liver damage and a drop in the platelets of the blood. The platelets are what allow your blood to clot.
Dengue shock may occur in which the liver fails and the person goes into respiratory distress. Another dangerous complication is encephalitis in which the brain is inflamed.
Treatment of Dengue
Mild Dengue can be treated with pain killers, rest, and taking in fluids. In cases of severe dengue, blood transfusions and intravenous fluids may become necessary.
Remember, Dengue is not always severe, but you should always seek treatment if you suspect that you may be infected.