Why is dengue fever considered contagious

Dengue fever

Global meaning:
Dengue fever is one of the most widespread and most commonly transmitted febrile infections. From the Middle to the Far East, Australia and Oceania, in Africa and in South and Central America, and in isolated cases even in the southern states of the USA, 390 million people are infected each year and 95 million of them fall ill. While this infection is considered relatively harmless, it leads to at least 500,000 hospitalizations and 11,000 deaths worldwide.

The disease:
In its classic form, about 5 days after infection, fever, severe headache, which can mainly be felt behind the eyes, and severe muscle pain occur. Movements are so painful in this phase of the disease that the nickname "bone breaker" is absolutely understandable. In addition, there are often abdominal pain and vomiting and anxious-depressive moods.
After 3-4 days, the affected person wears off a fever for a short time, but the disease often returns after 1-2 days, this time with a small speckled rash and again a high fever that lasts for another 1-5 days.
After surviving the illness, the convalescents are often plagued by dejection or even persistent depression for weeks.
In addition to the classic course, there are mild illnesses that cannot be distinguished from a flu-like infection. Out of four people with dengue virus infection, three remain clinically healthy.
But there are also severe disease courses with bleeding (hemorrhagic dengue fever) and acute circulatory failure (dengue shock syndrome). The fatal consequences of this disease can be ascribed to these fortunately rare forms of dengue fever. These severe forms can also be seen almost exclusively in people who have had repeated infections.

The treatment of dengue fever is of a purely palliative nature and consists of lowering the fever, relieving pain (NOT aspirin and other ASA products) as well as monitoring and, if necessary, intensive medical treatment of the patient. There is no causal therapy.

The cause Dengue fever is a virus that is related to the causative agent of our tick meningitis. Unfortunately, the relationship does not go so far that the TBE vaccination protects against dengue fever. Unlike the TBE virus, dengue fever viruses are not transmitted by ticks, but by mosquitos of the Aedes genus. Dengue viruses occur in four serotypes. This means that a person can get dengue fever four times in a lifetime. A dengue fever does not protect against infection with another dengue serotype. The opposite is the case: the second, third and fourth infection usually takes a severe, often life-threatening course, especially if it occurs within 5 years each.

Dengue fever tends to be epidemic, with 300,000 people suffering from the disease within a year, even in such small countries as in Cuba. Today we know that climate factors have a decisive influence on the frequency of transmission. In times of great heat, noticeably small mosquitoes develop, which are forced to suck blood more often than their well-developed counterparts. In addition, high ambient temperatures favor the development of the dengue virus in the mosquito. Abundant rain encourages these mosquitoes to multiply. Your brood only needs small amounts of water to develop, such as in coconut shells or discarded plastic containers. Aedes mosquitoes occur equally in town and country, provided it is warm enough; and that's it between the 30th north and 20th south latitude.

The protection Dengue fever is problematic because the vector mosquitoes are diurnal. Frequent application of insect repellent to bare skin, but also impregnating clothing with permethrin (Nobite for clothing), should become routine when traveling to areas with a high probability of transmission.

The development of Vaccinations worked against dengue fever, since December 2015 the first approvals for a vaccine ("Dengvaxia", Mexico). The vaccine has now been approved in several dengue endemic areas. However, its use in dengue-naive people is not without danger; particularly severe disease courses were seen with breakthroughs in vaccination. Dengvaxia is therefore useless as a travel vaccination.


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