Albert Francis E. Domingo, MD

my flight of ideas

Must Know Facts About Dengue

Posted on | June 14, 2009 | 11 Comments

What is Dengue?

Dengue is a fatal disease caused by an arbovirus, or a virus that is easily transmitted by arthropods like mosquitoes. There is no vaccine that confers immunity to the Dengue virus, and antibiotics are useless against it.

How can one be infected by Dengue?

Mosquitoes with the scientific name Aedes aegypti are touted to be the most effective vectors (causes of transmission) of the Dengue virus. Aedes mosquitoes are easily identified by the black and white stripes found on their bodies and legs. Once the mosquito bites an individual who has Dengue, the mosquito itself becomes infected and will infect other people by its subsequent bites.

Aedes mosquitoes multiply rapidly in small collections of stagnant water, such as those found in flower vases, old tires, cans or pails used to catch roof leaks, clogged roof gutters, and even roadside potholes that take time to dry. Wherever there is stagnant water, Aedes mosquitoes breed easily.

What are the signs and symptoms of Dengue?

After being bitten by a Dengue virus-carrying mosquito, an infected person does not immediately manifest with the illness. There is an asymptomatic incubation period ranging from 3-14 days. After the incubation period, high-grade fever begins and may last from 2-7 days.

The high-grade fever (that can reach as high as 40 OC on the thermometer) may be accompanied by the following: fatigue, severe headache, abdominal pain, muscle and joint pains, and red rashes on the skin. In some cases epistaxis (nosebleeding) and/or gum bleeding may occur. There can also be vomiting of blood, fresh blood in the stool, or darkened feces.

Dengue is fatal because it can have complications leading to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) or Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS). DHF and DSS are serious conditions because their cardinal manifestations are centered on internal bleeding and blood loss.

What should one do if s/he has signs and symptoms of Dengue?

It is important for persons who have signs and symptoms of Dengue to immediately seek medical consultation with your nearest doctor or hospital. While the patient has not yet been brought to a physician’s attention, the following can be done:

  • Paracetamol can be given to lower the fever and lessen pain. Do NOT give Aspirin or other pain relievers as these may aggravate the signs and symptoms of Dengue.
  • If the patient has no known heart problems, his/her oral fluid intake can be increased by giving more clean water, oral rehydration solution, or natural fruit juices.

What can be done to prevent the spread of Dengue?

Because Dengue is transmitted by mosquito bites, the prevention of Dengue’s spread centers on control of mosquitoes:

Avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.

  • Use lotions with mosquito repellents in its ingredients (these can be purchased at local groceries)
  • Wear clothes that cover as much skin as possible (e.g., instead of wearing shorts, wear pants). Avoid wearing dark-colored clothes as Dengue mosquitoes are easily attracted by dark colors.

Fix the surrounding environment to avoid mosquitoes.

  • Ensure that all rooms’ windows and doors have intact and properly installed wire screens.
  • Cover all vessels used to store water, such as drums, pails etc. If there is no need to store water, it is better to drain these vessels. Regularly replace water in flower vases at least once a week.
  • Fogging is not as effective an intervention as the elimination of stagnant water. Mosquitoes are bound to return a few hours after a fogging operation.

Have a long-term community solution against Dengue and the Aedes mosquitoes in your area.

  • Plant naturally mosquito-repelling plants such as Citronella, Neem tree (Azadirachta indica), etc.
  • Water-based and environment friendly insecticide sprays can be used in rooms that are used often.

Disseminate correct and accurate information about Dengue. You may copy and pass on reminders such as this note.

Prepared by Albert Francis E. Domingo, MD
Sources: eMedicine; Department of Health. Information current as of 6/13/2009.
This public health information flyer should not be used as a substitute for proper medical consultation.

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11 Responses to “Must Know Facts About Dengue”

  1. Arlyn Teves
    January 4th, 2011 @ 5:35 pm

    Dear Doc,

    I wish for your approval to use the info you have stated above as a tool and disseminate to our neighbors here in Bacoor, Cavite for Dengue awareness purposes.

    We had 1 dengue case, a 6 year old girl and unfortunately died caused by this virus yesterday.

    Best regards,

  2. Albert
    January 4th, 2011 @ 5:39 pm

    Hi Arlyn,

    Thank you for vising my website. Sure, please go ahead and use the info material I’ve written. πŸ™‚



  3. ina
    May 26th, 2013 @ 6:45 am

    I write in an local newspaper in our province and would like to share your information regarding dengue in my next article as it is very informative. Thank you


  4. ina
    May 27th, 2013 @ 5:29 am

    Very informative. May i share? Thank you

  5. Albert
    June 15th, 2013 @ 6:36 am

    Sure, please do. πŸ™‚

  6. jerico bataanon
    June 20th, 2013 @ 9:37 pm

    thanks for the information doctor albert. this would really help me and others to know more about dengue. i hope you dont mind if i use these information for my school requirements. thanks

  7. Albert
    June 20th, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    You’re welcome! Sure, go ahead and please use/disseminate. An acknowledgment of my blog would be appreciated. πŸ™‚

  8. Micah
    July 22nd, 2013 @ 6:24 pm

    Hi! your website is very informative πŸ™‚ i wish that you will approve me to have this some info. in my investigatory project πŸ™‚

    Hope that you’ll reply… Thanks! πŸ™‚

  9. Albert
    August 6th, 2013 @ 10:47 am

    Hi Micah, sure no problem. You may use the info; just cite my website properly. πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  10. Lenmark
    September 25th, 2015 @ 5:03 pm

    Hi Albert!

    This is Lenmark from University of the Philippines Visayas, I would like to use your content about dengue for an infographic I’m designing. This will be used as an output in our microbiology class.


  11. Albert
    September 27th, 2015 @ 8:02 pm

    Hi Lenmark, sure – please go ahead. Kindly cite following your institution’s prescribed format.

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