Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a more severe form of the Dengue virus. It can kill if not treated. Although there is a mortality rate in 1% of untreated victims, if one gets to the hospital and treated on time, DHF can often be brought under control. If a victim is infected more than once, they are more likely to contract DHF and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). Mortality rates can be more than 20% if DHF is not treated through medical professionals who have experience with treating Dengue.
Only four vectors (carriers) of mosquitoes carry Dengue. The two most common are:
Aedes aegypti mosquito AKA Yellow fever mosquito (this is the vector that is the biggest problem for people because it adapts to its environment)
Aedes albopictus AKA Asian Tiger Mosquito. (this is the vector AKA mosquito type that spread from Asia to North America most likely due to trade)
Click here to see a comparison chart of the Yellow Fever mosquito and the Asian Tiger mosquito.
Did you know? Mosquitoes lay eggs on a wet surface. The eggs can stay dormant and viable without water for several months. Once they are submerged in water (because of rain or a person adding water to their environment) they can still hatch?
Q.What are the symptoms of the disease?
A. The principal symptoms of dengue fever are high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding (e.g., nose or gums bleed, easy bruising). Generally, younger children and those with their first dengue infection have a milder illness than older children and adults.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever is characterized by a fever that lasts from 2 to 7 days, with general signs and symptoms consistent with dengue fever. When the fever declines, symptoms including persistent vomiting, severe abdominal pain, and difficulty breathing, may develop. This marks the beginning of a 24- to 48-hour period when the smallest blood vessels (capillaries) become excessively permeable (“leaky”), allowing the fluid component to escape from the blood vessels into the peritoneum (causing ascites) and pleural cavity (leading to pleural effusions). This may lead to failure of the circulatory system and shock, followed by death, if circulatory failure is not corrected. In addition, the patient with DHF has a low platelet count and hemorrhagic manifestations, tendency to bruise easily or other types of skin hemorrhages, bleeding nose or gums, and possibly internal bleeding. For more information on symptoms, click here.
There is no treatment formulary (medication list) for Dengue. Do not take aspirin, motrin, or naprosyn since they are blood thinners but do take acetaminophen for pain.
Did you know? Once a mosquito egg is placed in water it only takes two days to become a fully grown mosquito? Click here for pictures of a mosquito's life-cycle.
The World Health Organization estimates 50-100 million cases a year of the fever, and of those, about 22,000 die annually. Most of the victims are children.
For more information from the CDC on Dengue Virus click here.
Did you know? Mosquitoes life cycle is just 8-10 days.