What are the symptoms of dengue fever and how can it be prevented?

What are the symptoms of dengue fever and how can it be prevented?

Dengue Fever: Symptoms, Prevention, and Rising Concerns

What is Dengue Fever?

Dengue fever, also known as “bone crusher fever,” is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. It’s a prevalent disease in tropical and subtropical regions around the world, with cases surging in recent years.

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

Dengue fever typically manifests as a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms, including:

  • High fever, often over 104°F (40°C)
  • Chills
  • Intense headache, particularly behind the eyes
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite

In severe cases, dengue fever can progress to dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS). DHF and DSS are characterized by bleeding, organ damage, and potentially life-threatening complications.

Prevention of Dengue Fever

There is currently no specific treatment for dengue fever, so prevention is crucial. The following measures can help reduce your risk of infection:

Mosquito Avoidance:

  • Wear long-sleeved clothing and pants when outdoors, especially during dusk and dawn.
  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or IR3535.
  • Stay in air-conditioned or screened accommodations.
  • Use mosquito nets to protect sleeping areas.

Mosquito Control:

  • Eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed, such as in gutters, tires, and birdbaths.
  • Encourage proper waste disposal to remove potential breeding grounds.
  • Support mosquito control programs in your area.


  • A dengue vaccine is available in some countries but may not be entirely effective against all strains of the virus. Consult with your healthcare provider for the latest information on vaccine availability and efficacy.

Rising Concerns

The incidence of dengue fever is on the rise globally, with over five million cases reported in 2023. Travelers to popular tourist destinations, including Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Central and South America, are at an increased risk of infection.

According to 1Cover Travel Insurance, claims for dengue fever have doubled in recent years. This surge is attributed to several factors, including increased global travel, urbanization, and climate change, which favors mosquito proliferation.

Personal Account of Dengue Fever

Emily Gurr, an Australian model, shared her experience with dengue fever after being bitten by a mosquito in Bali. She described the onset of her symptoms as “like a bus had hit me.” Within days, she was hospitalized and required intravenous treatment. Gurr’s story highlights the severity of dengue fever and the importance of seeking medical attention promptly if symptoms develop.


Dengue fever is a serious illness that can have significant health implications. By understanding the symptoms of dengue fever, practicing preventive measures, and staying informed about the latest developments, we can help reduce our risk of infection and protect ourselves from this potentially life-threatening disease.

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