What is dengue fever?
Dengue is a viral disease transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes mainly in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, with the greatest risks occurring in:
- South Pacific
- South Central Asia
- Central and South America
Dengue fever occurs most often in urban areas, but may be found in rural areas. Transmission of the virus, via Aedes mosquitoes, usually occurs during and shortly after the rainy season. These mosquitoes are most active during the day and are often found near human dwellings, often indoors.
How is dengue fever diagnosed?
Dengue fever infection is diagnosed by a special blood test to determine the presence of the virus or antibodies. See your physician if you become sick within a month of returning from travel in a tropical area, and be prepared to give your complete travel itinerary, so that the physician can evaluate the possibility that your symptoms were caused by a dengue infection.
Treatment for dengue fever:
Specific treatment will be determined by your physician based on:
- your overall health and medical history
- extent of the disease
- your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- expectations for the course of the disease
- your opinion or preference
The symptoms of dengue fever are generally treated with bed rest and fluids. Medications may be used to reduce fever, such as acetaminophen, but aspirin should be avoided.