Dengue: Symptoms and Prevention Tips

female aedes mosquito, the primary vector of dengue

The number of dengue cases has been rising dramatically over the years, with children and elderly being more vulnerable due to lower immunity. The symptoms of dengue can vary across a wide spectrum, ranging from mild to severe. In fact, the number of reported cases currently is more than 8 times the number of dengue cases reported two decades ago.

How to identify dengue?

The bite of an infected mosquito will cause the virus-infected disease to spread to the person who has been bitten. Similarly, a mosquito can also be infected after a blood meal of one who is dengue-infected. As a result, the disease transmission goes in a cycle and may cause a vicious cycle should the number of infected mosquitoes rise.

When one is being bitten by an infected mosquito, there will be symptoms which last for around 2 to 7 days. These symptoms include:

  •       High fever
  •       Severe headache
  •       Pain behind the eyes
  •       Joint and muscle pain
  •       Skin rashes
  •       Nausea and vomiting
  •       Swollen glands

Majority of the dengue cases usually suffer from mild symptoms. However, these symptoms can be fatal if the disease is not properly treated.

For severe cases of dengue, symptoms are likely to be more pronounced. They may include:

  •       Heart impairment
  •       Blood in stool or vomit
  •       Vomit multiple times within the day (at least 3 times in 24 hours)
  •       Nose bleeding

How do I know it is not COVID-19?

While the early stages of COVID-19 and dengue share some similar symptoms, both diseases differ based on the mode of transmission. The significant symptoms that one can use to identify them also differ. Contrary to COVID-19, person-to-person transmission will not take place in cases of dengue. Furthermore, dengue will also not show symptoms such as difficulty breathing or loss of taste. Dengue symptoms are also likely to last for a shorter period. 

Can dengue be prevented?

One of the more crucial factors will be the available breeding sites for the mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can be reduced with the help of the following methods

  1. Empty any possible water holding areas in the household weekly
  2. Do frequent checks to ensure that there are no possible moist areas for mosquitoes to breed
  3. Spray insecticides in areas where mosquitoes are more likely to breed (e.g. areas with plants)
  4. Consistent use of household mosquito protections such as window nets to minimise the possibility of mosquitoes entering

How can teleconsulting a General Practitioner help?

If your symptoms worsen, consider teleconsulting a General Practitioner on the WhiteCoat app. WhiteCoat’s doctor will provide you with the medical attention required at the convenience of your home. Click here to find out more about WhiteCoat’s General Practitioner (GP) service, or click here to view other blog posts.