Mosquitoes are a nuisance to humans and animals alike. With a lifespan of only a week to a couple months, mosquitoes spread deadly diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, West Nile, and dengue fever quickly. Interestingly, it is the female mosquitoes that typically transfer deadly illnesses and diseases as they seek out blood meals.
Dengue fever is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito or exposure to infected blood. The symptoms of dengue fever include high fever, headaches, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, bleeding, pain behind the eyes, and severe joint and muscle pain. It is a painful disease with symptoms lasting up to ten days but often mistaken for the flu and other viral infections. Dengue fever, however, can cause damage to lymph nodes, liver, blood vessels, and the circulatory system which can cause dengue shock syndrome and possible death.
Although there are millions of cases of dengue fever per year, most are discovered in tropical areas of the words such as Africa, Asia, and Central and South America. However, many outbreaks have occurred in the United States. In fact, citizens living along the southern most border of the United States are most at risk.
Dengue fever is diagnosed using a blood test that checks for antibodies and virus. Although there is not a specific medication that treats dengue fever, it is recommended that you use acetaminophen for the relief of pain. If you have become sick after traveling to one of the aforementioned areas or other tropical areas, then contact your doctor immediately.