5 things to know about dengue fever
1. Millions of people are affected by dengue each year
50 millions. This is the number of cases of dengue fever, also known as "tropical flu", recorded every year around the world. Of these, 500,000 people are affected by dengue haemorrhagic fever, which is fatal in 2.5% of cases.
This infectious disease is caused by an arbovirus, that is to say a virus transmitted by insects. It is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes, commonly called "tiger mosquitoes".
The dengue virus has four different serotypes, ie four categories in which it is classified. Result: a person can be infected several times with different serotypes of this disease.
2. One and the same mosquito can spread the virus to more than one person
Aedes mosquitoes infected with dengue transmit the disease to humans during an injection. But a healthy mosquito that stings someone affected by the virus can also become infected and become a contaminant.
After the extrinsic phase, which lasts 8 to 12 days and during which the virus develops in the mosquito, the latter can transmit the virus to other people during a bite.
3. Dengue fever can take three different forms
There are three forms of dengue fever: the asymptomatic form, the symptomatic form "classic" and the severe form.
The asymptomatic form is characterized by infection with the virus, without any associated symptoms. The "classic" symptomatic form is characterized by high fever, chills, headache, nausea, vomiting, joint and muscle pain and rash.
The severe form is an evolution of the disease, the first symptoms of which can appear after 2 to 7 days and after a return to normal temperature.
Signs that need to alert? Abdominal pain or tenderness, persistent vomiting, signs of fluid effusion, mucous bleeding, lethargy or agitation, increased liver volume, increased red blood cells associated with decreased platelets .
4. There is no treatment for dengue fever
No antiviral treatment directly attacks dengue fever. It is therefore the symptoms of the disease that must be combated, taking paracetamol-based analgesics, hydrating and resting.
Taking aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided as these drugs may increase the risk of bleeding.
5. It is possible to limit the risk of infection
If there is no preventive treatment for dengue, precautions can be taken to limit the risk of infection.
The best way to protect yourself? Protect yourself from mosquito bites by using repellents, by wearing long, loose clothing or by installing mosquito nets at home. It is also recommended to eliminate stagnant water, where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
Read also :
⋙ Tiger mosquitoes: 5 essential information to better protect yourself
⋙ Contagion: dengue cases in the South West, what are the risks?
⋙ Soon a vaccine against Zika and dengue fever?