Dengue fever
by Calvin Trent

Dengue fever ranges in severity from a mild flulike illness but can become a severe disease.

There is no specific treatment and no vaccine.

Dengue fever is caused by infection with one of four different viruses known as DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4. All four viruses are capable of causing the complications of dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.

Infection with one type gives you lifelong immunity to that particular dengue virus. However, the infection does not offer immunity to the other three types, so it is possible to contract dengue fever again.

The typical signs and symptoms of uncomplicated dengue fever may include: high temperature within one week of infection, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, joint and muscle aches, metallic taste in the mouth, appetite loss, abdominal (stomach) pain, nausea and vomiting, generally feeling unwell (malaise) skin rash that appears about four days after the onset of fever depression.

In most cases, symptoms resolve within one to two weeks. Some people, however, take longer to recover and may struggle with lethargy (tiredness) and depression for weeks or even months.

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