Dengue

Definition

noun

(pathology) An acute febrile viral disease caused by a flavivirus transmitted by mosquitoes


Supplement

Dengue is an acute febrile disease caused by the dengue virus transmitted by mosquitoes (especially Aedes spp., mainly A. aegypti). The usual onset is three to 14 days after infective mosquito bite. The duration of the disease is typically between two to seven days. Symptoms include muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, rash, and headache (particularly behind the eyes).

The mild type is one in which the symptoms are fundamentally fever, headache, rash, and decrease in platelet count. A severe type of the disease involves potentially lethal complications, such as dengue haemorrhagic fever wherein the disease leads to bleeding (i.e. from the gums and gastrointestinal tract), significant drop in blood platelets, and blood plasma leakage. It may also result in dengue shock syndrome in which the blood pressure becomes dangerously low. During the febrile phase, the temperature may reach to over 40 °C (104 °F). The fever is biphasic, i.e. may return after being gone. The rash may appear next; it is itchy and resembles that of measles. Petechiae may also occur. Recovery occurs when the leaked fluid is reabsorbed in the bloodstream.

The disease is prevalent in the tropics and subtropics. Places that are at the greatest risk are Southeast Asia, Southern China, Taiwan, The Indian subcontinent, Mexico, Africa, and certain places in the Carribbean, Central America, and South America.

The dengue virus is a species of the flavivirus that causes an acute febrile and sometimes haemorrhagic disease in man. The dengue virus is an arbovirus, i.e. it is spread by a bite of an infected mosquito (i.e. Aedes mosquitoes, mainly A. aegypti).


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