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Dengue fever is present in tropical and subtropical countries.
Places like the Middle East, Tahiti, South Pacific, Southeast Asia, the West Indies, the Caribbean, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Cuba and Central America have outbreaks of dengue fever. However, it has been noticed that dengue is increasing in frequency in Southeast Asia; in countries like Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.According to the World Health Organization, each year there are around 50 million cases of dengue fever all over the world. This figure will increase in the coming years considering that 40 percent of the world's population lives in areas where dengue is quite common.
Dengue fever is caused by a virus that is transmitted through a mosquito bite. The virus has an incubation period from 3 days to 15 days after which dengue fever symptoms manifest themselves. Usually dengue starts with headache, chills, lower backache and pain while moving the eyes. Then in the first few hours the person develops pain in the joints and legs. The fever quickly rises, and can get as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit, or 40 degrees Celsius. While the person is suffering from fever, his blood pressure will reduce along with the heart rate. In addition, a rash that is pale pink in color develops and then it disappears. Usually the lymph nodes located in the groins and neck get inflamed and swollen.
Dengue fever symptoms tend to last for 2 to 4 days, and this is followed by sudden and dramatic drop in fever along with extreme sweating. The person feels normal for about a day, and the temperature suddenly increases. The fever is accompanied with rash that starts at the extremities and then spreads to the rest of the body. The soles and palms also tend to get swollen and become bright red in color.
As dengue fever is caused by a virus, antibiotics are not used to treat it. Usually the treatment involves treating the symptoms. In addition, the person should be constantly kept hydrated. Medicines like acetaminophen and codeine are given to get relief from the severe joint and muscle pains and headaches.
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