Dengue Fever

This past week there were two cases reported of Dengue Fever in the Orlando area. This disease is spread by infected mosquitoes. It can be very difficult to determine where and when the disease was contracted because the symptoms may not be apparent immediately.

According to the National Library of Medicine, symptoms include the following:

  • A sudden, high fever, often as high as 104-105 degrees Fahrenheit, 4-7 days after the infection
  • A red, flat rash may appear over most of the body 2-5 days after the fever starts
  • A second rash, which looks like the measles, appears later in the disease
  • Fatigue
  • Headache (especially behind the eyes)
  • Joint Aches
  • Muscle Aches
  • Nausea
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Vomiting

Infected people may have increased skin sensitivity and are very uncomfortable.  There is no specific treatment for dengue fever.  It is important to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration and take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for the fever.  Do not take aspirin.

The condition usually lasts about one week and although uncomfortable, it is not deadly.  People with the condition should fully recover.

The best way to prevent contracting the disease is to protect yourself from mosquitoes by using repellent with DEET and avoid being outside when mosquitoes are most active, at dawn and dusk or wear long-sleeved shirts and pants if you must be outside at this time.  Mosquito abatement programs may also reduce the risk of infection.