Top questions on Dengue Fever answered .
6 mins read

Top questions on Dengue Fever answered .

Contributed by

Dr. Vipul Agarwal

M.B;B.S  MD(Internal Medicine), FAGE, CPCDM(RSSDI)

Consultant physician & Diabetologist, Unique Healthcare

Maitri Clinic, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

You can find me at-


linkedIn/ Instagram/ facebook / Google

What is dengue fever?

Dengue fever is an infection caused by “dengue viruses.”Dengue fever is spread by mosquitoes that carry dengue viruses. People who live in areas where these mosquitoes are common have the highest risk of infection. These areas include southern Asia, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.

What are the symptoms of dengue fever?

Symptoms usually happen 4 to 7 days after a bite from a mosquito that carries dengue virus. But they can happen up to 2 weeks later. Symptoms usually last 5 to 7 days.

Dengue fever symptoms are different for each person. They can be mild or severe. They can include:



Pain behind the eyes

Joint and muscle pain

Feeling tired, sometimes for days to weeks

Rash – This can be flat or have small bumps. It might be itchy. A rash is more common in people who have not been infected with a dengue virus before.

Stomach problems, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea

Cough, sore throat, and stuffy nose – The throat might look red.

Small purple spots on the skin, or bowel movements that look black

Red eyes

Children and younger people often have less severe symptoms. People who had dengue fever in the past and get infected with a different dengue virus have the highest risk of severe symptoms.

A person with severe dengue fever might:

Have bad belly pain

Get bruises without bumping into anything – The person might also have small purple spots on the skin.

Vomit blood

Get nosebleeds

Have black bowel movements

Have seizures – A person who has a seizure might pass out or move or behave strangely. For example, they might shake or fall down.

Have bleeding between menstrual periods (in females)

Should I see a doctor or nurse?

Yes. If you live in a country where dengue fever is common, see a doctor or nurse if you have any of the symptoms.

If you used to live in a country where dengue fever is common, and recently went back for a visit, see a doctor or nurse if you have any symptoms of dengue fever. You might have had an infection when you lived there, and gotten infected again on your visit. People who visit these countries often should also see a doctor or nurse if they have symptoms.

Is there a test for dengue fever?

Yes. A doctor might be able to tell if you have dengue fever by doing an exam and learning about the symptoms. They can also do blood tests. 

In countries where dengue fever is common, like India,, you might not get a blood test. But doctors can still treat the symptoms if they think that you have it.

How is dengue fever treated?

There is no treatment for the virus that causes dengue fever, but doctors can treat the symptoms. Very sick people can be treated in the hospital. Treatments include:

Blood transfusions – If the infection causes severe bleeding, doctors can give the person blood that someone else has given to the hospital.

Getting fluids through a thin tube that goes into a vein called an “IV”

Some people are at risk of getting sicker from dengue fever than other people. This includes:

Pregnant people


Older people

People with obesity

People who have diabetes, kidney failure, or certain blood diseases

These people might need to go to the hospital if they get dengue fever. Doctors can watch for severe symptoms and treat them if they happen. People who live alone or far from a doctor’s office or hospital might also need to stay in the hospital. That way, they can be treated right away if they get very sick.

People who are not as sick can usually rest at home. If you have dengue fever, you might need to see a doctor or nurse every day until you get better. The doctor or nurse can do blood tests and check your blood pressure. These check-ups are important because dengue fever can cause serious bleeding. Doctors can look to see if this is happening, and treat it early if it does.

Is there anything I can do on my own to feel better?

Yes. If the doctor says that you do not need to go to the hospital, you can stay home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids. You can also take acetaminophen(paracetamol) to relieve fever and aches.

Do not take aspirin or NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen or naproxen or diclofenac 

These medicines can increase the risk of bleeding in people with dengue fever. Never give aspirin or medicines that contain aspirin to children younger than 18 years. In children, aspirin can cause a serious problem called Reye syndrome.

Can dengue fever be prevented?

Yes. The best way to prevent dengue fever is to avoid the mosquitoes that carry it. Not all countries where dengue fever is common control mosquitoes well. But you can lower your chances of getting dengue fever if you live or travel there. You can:

Stay inside during the day, when the mosquitoes that carry dengue fever are most active. Buildings with screens and air conditioning are safest.

Wear shoes, long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and a hat when you go outside.

Wear bug spray or cream that contains DEET or a chemical called picaridin. Check the label to make sure. Do not use DEET on babies younger than 2 months.

On your clothes and gear, use bug repellents that have a chemical called permethrin.

Drain any standing water near your home, such as wading pools, buckets, and potted plants with saucers. Mosquitoes breed in standing water.

View in browser :The Health Guide 

Contribute an article 

Join the mailing List of The Health Guide 


Join the mailing list!

Get the latest articles delivered right to your inbox!