WHAT IS IT?
Dengue is a viral disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses. The viruses are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Dengue virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which also spread Chikungunya and Zika. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. There has never been a locally-acquired dengue case in Georgia, with most cases in the United States citizens occurring in Puerto Rico or travel to Dengue endemic areas.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
- High Fever
- Severe Headache
- Severe Pain behind the eyes
- Muscle, Joint, Bone pain
- Mild Bleeding (gums, nose, easy bruising)
Generally, younger children and those with their first dengue infection have a milder illness than older children and adults. Symptoms generally begin 4 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Dengue usually lasts 3 to 10 days.
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a complication of dengue fever that tends to affect children under the age of 10. Without proper treatment, the mortality rate of DHF is 20%. Symptoms include:
- Severe Abdominal Pain
- Difficulty Breathing
- Bleeding under the skin
HOW CAN I PREVENT CONTRACTING THIS DISEASE?
There is currently no vaccine against Dengue infection. There is no specific antiviral treatment for Dengue infection. The patient may need to be treated in the hospital to help relieve the symptoms. Early recognition can help lower the risk of medical complications and death. So avoid mosquito bites while you have a fever to prevent the spread of the disease to other people.
To eliminate and control mosquitoes, prevent mosquitoes from breeding by not accumulating garbage and avoid standing water in containers.
Other methods of prevention include:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Stay in places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
- Take steps to control mosquitoes inside and outside your home.
- Sleep under a mosquito bed net if you are overseas or outside and are not able to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients:
- DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. Choosing an EPA-registered repellent ensures the EPA has evaluated the product for effectiveness. When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
For more information about immunizations, visit our Immunizations page