What is dengue fever and severe dengue?
Dengue is a vector-borne disease transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. There are 4 serotypes of the virus that causes dengue.
Severe dengue is a potentially lethal complication which can develop from multiple dengue infections from different virus serotypes.
Where does dengue occur?
Dengue is mostly spread in tropical in subtropical regions in South East Asia and South America. Dengue is also present in certain regions of Africa and the middle-East.
What are the symptoms of dengue fever?
According the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the usual symptoms of dengue are high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding (e.g., nose or gums bleed, easy bruising).
What is the treatment for dengue?
According to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and WHO (World Health Organization), there is no specific treatment/drug for dengue. It is recommended for the patients to seek medical advice, rest and drink plenty of fluids. It is important to avoid medications containing aspirin and ibuprofen because it can increase the risk of bleeding. Patients who think they have dengue should instead use paracetamol to bring down the fever and reduce joint pains.
How to reduce the risk of a dengue infection?
The best way to reduce the risk of a dengue infection is to reduce the risk of being bitten by mosquitos. If living in areas affected by dengue, it is important to eliminate the places where the mosquito lays her eggs, such as containers that hold water, especially at home (e.g. pet and animal watering containers, flower planter dishes, water storage barrels).
Why is there a need of Dengue diagnostics?
To control the dengue epidemics, and to provide care to patients, dengue blood tests need to be available at the point-of-care without the need of central hospital laboratories. Tests should be affordable, quantitative, easy-to-run, requiring minimal sample, and results should be quickly available. Better tools for dengue diagnostics will allow doctors operating far from centralized laboratories to quickly identify the nature and severity of the disease without sending the sample to a central lab. Furthermore, it will allow patients to receive immediately the appropriate care, reducing the risk of hospitalization.