John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Dengue is prevalent throughout the tropics and subtropics.
Because dengue fever is caused by a virus, there is no specific medicine or antibiotic to treat it. For typical dengue fever, the treatment is directed toward relief of the symptoms (symptomatic treatment).
The acute phase of the illness with fever and myalgias lasts about one to two weeks.
Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. It is an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows a benign course with symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy), and rash. The presence of fever, rash, and headache (the "dengue triad") is particularly characteristic of dengue. Other signs of dengue fever include bleeding gums, severe pain behind the eyes, and red palms and soles.
Dengue (pronounced DENG-gay) can affect anyone but tends to be more severe in people with compromised immune systems. Because it is caused by one of five serotypes of virus, it is possible to get dengue fever multiple times. However, an attack of dengue produces immunity for a lifetime to that particular viral serotype to which the patient was exposed.
Dengue goes by other names, including "breakbone" or "dandy fever." Victims of
dengue often have contortions due to the intense joint and muscle pain, hence
the name breakbone fever. Slaves in the West Indies who contracted dengue were said to have dandy fever because of their postures and gait.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a more severe form of the viral illness.
Symptoms include headache, fever, rash, and evidence of hemorrhage in the body. Petechiae (small red or purple
splotches or blisters under the skin), bleeding in the nose or gums, black stools, or easy bruising are all possible signs of hemorrhage. This form of dengue fever can be life-threatening and can progress to the most severe form of the illness, dengue shock syndrome.
Primary symptoms of dengue appear three to 15 days after the mosquito bite and include the following:
high fever and severe headache,
with severe pain behind the eyes that is apparent when trying to move the eyes.
Other associated symptoms are:
muscle and bone pain,
and mild bleeding.
Many affected people complain of low back pain. The lymph nodes of the neck and groin may be swollen. Young children and people infected for the first time typically have milder symptoms than older children and adults.