Dengue is a viral disease that has been spreading rapidly over the last couple of years. A virus that is transmitted by female mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti), it is widespread throughout the tropics with the risks influenced by unplanned rapid urbanization, temperature, rainfall and relative humidity. The Dengue virus is known to cause a host of health complications ranging from severe flu-like symptoms to subclinical diseases. Even though it is very rare, some people may end up developing severe dengue, which in turn leads to complications such as plasma leakage, organ impairment or severe bleeding.

Most people who contract dengue will not show any symptoms. For those who develop symptoms, they mostly appear within three to five days after an infected mosquito bites you. However, it might take close to two weeks for the symptoms to appear after a bite. Patients having dengue feel a lot like a bad case of the flu since most experience pain behind the eyes, severe headache and high fever. It can also lead to severe muscle and joint pain no wonder some people refer to it as ‘breakbone fever.’

The fact that dengue is quite similar to the flu and other illnesses, it might prove quite hard for one to diagnose it. If you happen to develop flu-like symptoms and have recently visited an area with dengue, then it is a good idea to go for a checkup. Tell your doctor about any recent travel after which a blood test  will be carried out to confirm an infection. It is highly advisable that you seek urgent medical attention if you experience any warning signs of dengue. Even though there is no cure for dengue, getting the necessary supportive treatment such as fluid replacement can improve your chances of recovery significantly.

Unfortunately, the dengue virus is becoming resistant to vaccines and therapeutics. This is as a result of the mutations in specific protein. After obtaining strains from patients and comparing them to laboratory adapted viruses, most of the clinical strains seem to maintain smooth surface. The new study offers a new direction for the development of vaccines and treatment for dengue disease. Well, this comes as good news considering there is a high chance of treating dengue in the future. For now we have to wait and see how things fare on before the treatment is made available.

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