Recognizing Dengue Fever Symptoms
Dengue fever is one of the most common mosquito-borne viral diseases and the most common cause of fever in travelers returning from international destinations.
A fever plus two or more of the following symptoms may indicate dengue fever:
- Pain behind the eyes
- Muscle or joint pain
- Certain bleeding disorders
The incubation period lasts for 3 to 14 days. These symptoms generally appear 4 to 7 days after a bite by an infected mosquito. After 2 or 3 days, those infected will often notice a lesion appear on the skin. The fever usually lasts 3 to 5 days.
In a small percentage of cases, people with dengue fever develop dengue hemorrhagic fever. This is a more severe, potentially fatal form of the disease.
Warning signs occur 3 to 7 days after the first symptoms, together with:
- Decrease in blood volume
- Severe bleeding disorders
- Decline in fever
- Persistent vomiting
- Severe abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing
Proper medical treatment is required to prevent complications. Because dengue fever doesn’t have a cure, there are only treatments to relieve the symptoms. Death from the dengue fever is rare.
There is no approved dengue fever vaccine in Canada. It is therefore very important to avoid being bitten by the mosquitoes that transmit dengue fever, which are more active during the day.
Consult your pharmacist to find out if your travel destination is associated with a risk of contracting dengue fever. He or she will be able to inform you of other potential travel needs related to your destination and discuss the best insect repellents you should use.
While travelling or after returning home, consult a doctor immediately if you have a fever and a skin lesion, and experience bleeding or easy bruising.
The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.