5 Signs You Might Have Dengue & Ways to Prevent It

Dengue is a tricky disease because its symptoms can easily be confused with other illnesses. Also, not everyone who has dengue has the same signs – some might have mild symptoms and some might even need hospitalization. With the start of the rains, the spread of dengue (and other viral infections) is on the rise. Though self-diagnosing is never a good idea, you’ll be doing yourself and your family a favour by learning about the symptoms of dengue. So here they are:

High Fever

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This is usually the first (and sometimes – only) warning sign. A fever of as high as 104 F degrees that can start about 4-10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. 

Aches and Pains

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People with dengue often complain about joint pain or pain behind the eyes. Some have muscle pain, bone pain or even a headache.

Rashes

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After the fever starts, a rash that’s flat and red might appear anywhere on the body. Later in the disease, a second rash might appear. This one will look more like measles. 

Nausea

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Nausea and vomiting are also a symptom of dengue and this can lead to dehydration.

Severe Dengue Symptoms

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A more serious form of dengue is dengue hemorrhagic fever which has the following symptoms:

  • Persistent vomiting
  • Severe abdomen pain
  • Bleeding from the nose and gums
  • Blood in vomit, urine or stool
  • Bleeding under the skin 
  • Fatigue
  • Cold skin
  • Rapid breathing 

Even if you only have mild symptoms and you suspect a viral infection – see a doctor or get a blood test just to make sure its not dengue. 

Dengue is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito that tends to bite during the day. Since there’s no vaccine for dengue, the best thing to do is to avoid getting bitten and keep the mosquitos away from your home. Here are some ways you can do that:

Mosquito Repellents 

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There are repellents you can use at all times – cream on the skin, sprays and stickers on your body, mosquito repellent wipes, etc. These are especially necessary for little children.

Dress Right

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Choose light-coloured clothing as cover as much skin as possible. 

Keep Your Home Safe

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  • Tape up all the holes in your window screens. Keep doors and windows shut.
  • Use a mosquito net.
  • See that all vessels, pots, tubs, buckets, etc. don’t have any stagnant water. 

Natural Repellents at Home

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Lemongrass, lavender, basil, thyme and catnip are natural insect repellents so plant them in and around your house. Before you mop your floors, add a drop of citronella oil or lemongrass oil to the water. Use homemade insect repellent like cloves stuck in halved lemons or oranges. You can even light citronella candles or add the essential oil to a diffuser. Other essential oils that help are Lemon eucalyptus essential oil or peppermint. 

Now you know how the disease spreads, what you can do to prevent mosquito bites and what symptoms to look for. The best thing you can do is to stay informed and spread the knowledge. 

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