Understanding and Preventing Dengue: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Strategies for Control

Dengue is a viral infection caused by the dengue virus, which is spread by the Aedes mosquito. It is a serious disease that can lead to severe illness and even death if left untreated. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are approximately 390 million dengue infections worldwide each year, with about 96 million of those cases resulting in severe illness. 


The Aedes mosquito, which is known to carry the dengue virus, is found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including Asia, Africa, and Latin America. When an infected mosquito bites a person, the virus is transmitted into the person’s bloodstream, leading to dengue fever.


Symptoms of dengue can range from mild to severe. Some common symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, and a rash. In some cases, the symptoms can be severe and include bleeding, abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing. If you suspect you have dengue, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. 


There are four different types of dengue virus, and a person can be infected with more than one type. This can lead to a more severe form of the disease known as dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), which can cause bleeding, low platelet count, and fluid accumulation in the lungs and abdomen. DHF can be fatal if left untreated. 


Treatment for dengue is typically supportive and includes rest, fluids, and pain relievers. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary. There is currently no specific antiviral treatment for dengue. 

The key to prevent dengue is to control the spread of the virus. Here are some ways to prevent dengue: 

  • Keep windows and doors closed or screened to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home. 
  • Use mosquito nets when sleeping, especially during the day when mosquitoes are more active. 
  • Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants to cover as much skin as possible. 
  • Use air conditioning or fans to keep your living spaces cool and well-ventilated. 
  • Use mosquito repellent, such as DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus, on exposed skin and clothing. 
  • Keep your yard and surrounding area clean and free of trash and debris, as these areas can provide breeding sites for mosquitoes. 
  • Use mosquito-repelling plants, such as citronella, lemongrass, and marigolds, around your home. 
  • Support local mosquito control efforts in your community, such as those organized by health departments or community organizations. 
  • Avoid traveling to areas where dengue is known to be prevalent, or take extra precautions when doing so. 
  • Get rid of any stagnant water around the house, as this is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes. 

By implementing these prevention measures, you can reduce your risk of contracting dengue and help protect your community from the spread of the disease. It is important to remember that dengue prevention is a community effort, and everyone can play a role in controlling the spread of the virus. 


About The Author

Dr. Krisca is a highly-educated and skilled physician who has obtained a BS Public Health degree from the University of the Philippines Manila and a Doctor of Medicine degree from the De La Salle Medical Health Sciences Institute. She is a licensed physician and also a Registered Medical Technologist. She has received additional training in Hemodialysis for Non-Nephro Physicians on duty and has completed online courses in related fields like depression in populations from John Hopkins University and positive psychiatry from The University of Sydney. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of International Health in the University of the Philippines. 

Dr. Krisca is known for her outstanding skills and compassionate approach to healthcare that make a positive impact on people’s lives. Through her passion for healthcare, she hopes to make a difference in the world and help people lead healthier, happier lives. 

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