Thursday, 22 January 2009

What is Dengue fever

What is Dengue fever?

Dengue fever (pronounced Den-gay) is a viral infection caused by the female mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). Dengue fever occurs in tropical and sub-tropical regions and usually increases in the hot and humid months. Dengue fever is not a new disease. It was discovered several hundred years ago. In recent years, dengue fever has become a major international public health concern.

Dengue fever nicknamed "breakbone fever" because dengue patients usually express contorted movements due to intense joint and muscle pain. Benjamin Rush from Philadelphia, US, first described "breakbone fever" in 1780. Slaves who developed dengue fever in the West Indies were said to have "dandy fever" because of their posture and gait.

Dengue fever lasts for approximately 7 days, despite its sudden and acute onset. However, extra precautions should be taken after the recovery period. These precautions will help prevent severe illness from occurring in some people, such as dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS). These illnesses are potentially lethal and are today the leading cause of childhood mortality in several Asian countries

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