Do you experience sudden high fever and severe headache coupled with rash especially on your back? Then you might be experiencing dengue fever symptoms.
Now what is Dengue fever? Dengue fever (also known as break-bone disease or dengue hemorrhagic fever) is a mosquito-mediated viral disease characterized by sudden fever, profuse bleeding and terrible rash which usually forms on the back. It is caused by the dengue virus of which vector is Aedes mosquito which becomes infected with the virus when it bites an infected person.
According to a WebMD’s report,
a record 390million incidences are documented every year while most cases occur within tropical regions of the world e.g. South east Asia, southern China, Taiwan, carribeans, Africa, south america and mexico.
Dengue symptoms develop in a rapid succession with fatal consequences if its not declared an emergency.
Signs of dengue include oral and nasal bleeding, rapidly deteriorating pulse and high fever, profuse hemorrhage. This usually happens about 9-10 days after the onset of the infection while the incubation period (time between exposure and onset of symptoms) ranges from 3 to 14 days, but most often it is 4 to 7 days.
Dengue fever symptoms are very similar to flu symptoms however, signs of complication will distinguish between them.
Symptoms of dengue fever
Dengue symptoms can only be experienced by those who are infected by the virus, however dengue is not contagious but can only be transmitted by the mosquito.
The following are symptoms of dengue fever:
1. Eye pain
This is often noticed as pain sensation coming from the back of the eyes. It is one of the characteristic dengue fever symptoms.
2. Muscle and joint pain
This is one of the symptoms that develops fast when the infection sets in. The pain can be very severe with time.
3. Skin rash
A measles-like rash is another characteristic sign of dengue as appear within 2-5days after onset of the disease. This occurs in about 50-80% of all symptomatic cases.
4. Severe headache
This also confirms dengue fever if it develops faster than usual. All hemorrhagic fevers (e.g. Ebola) have similar symptoms, certain symptoms such as headache can be very severe as bleeding becomes profuse, less volume of blood and oxygen gets to the brain. This may lead to splitting headache.
Fatigue goes hand in hand with bleeding as it deprives the body of adequate oxygen and less energy for metabolism.
6. Massive bleeding, liver enlargement and circulatory system failure
This is the main cause of the bleeding when blood vessels rupture as the virus spread to other organs and tissues in the body. Continuous bleeding may lead to dengue shock syndrome and eventually hypotension and death if bleeding is not controlled promptly. Profuse bleeding occurs in less than 5% of all cases.
7. Vomiting and nausea
As the infection progresses and symptoms get worse, the gastric cavity may be affected which oftentimes lead to abdominal troubles and gastric bleeding.
Symptoms of dengue fever can be mild in children and adults who have never been exposed to the virus before, so also about 80% of all cases have mild symptoms while only few cases are life threatening.
Early reporting of symptoms followed up with physical examination will go a long way at helping to get treatment promptly though early symptoms may be easily distinguishable from other viral diseases. Early discovery is key to recovery, also positive tourniquet test, low white blood cell count and blood tests can be used to establish a positive diagnosis of dengue fever.