Fever and joint pain? Is it dengue or something else?

Fever and joint pain? Is it dengue or something else?

With dengue cases on the rise, it’s important to distinguish between the symptoms brought on by the mosquito borne disease and other ailments.

Dengue, like Zika and Chikungunya are transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is mostly active during the daytime.

Each of these diseases share similar symptoms, which include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain.

But, how can you tell dengue apart from other mosquito borne diseases?

A specific feature of dengue is low platelet count. This distinguishes it from other mosquito borne diseases.

Fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, rash, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and joint swelling are typical features of dengue to occur within two to 14 days of being bitten by mosquitoes, but present similarly to Zika and Chikungunya, even Malaria.

The best thing to do if you believe you may have dengue is to speak with your healthcare provider.

People should seek immediate medical attention if they start vomiting, suffer severe abdominal pain, develop a petechial rash, feel very weak, or feel confused.

Dengue symptoms typically present within a few days of being bitten but can take up to two weeks to develop. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and in severe cases, dengue can cause shock, internal bleeding, and even death.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) not everyone who gets infected with dengue will feel sick, as only about one in every four infected people get sick. People are more likely to develop severe dengue if they were infected before. Infants and pregnant women are more likely to develop severe dengue.

There’s no cure for dengue; the symptoms are managed with pain relievers – not including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen.

People can reduce their risk of contracting dengue by following these tips:

1. Eliminate mosquito breeding sites around homes: Discard old drums, used tyres, plastic containers and other items that collect rainwater. Regularly change water in animal and pets’ containers. These items act as breeding ground for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

2. Prevent mosquito bites: Put mosquito netting over your bed, use mosquito repellent on skin and clothing (even in the daytime). Wear long sleeves shirts and long pants outdoors.

3. As much as possible, stay indoors at dusk with windows and doors closed.

  • PublishedJuly 9, 2024