Dengue fever is a viral infection that is transmitted by mosquitoes to humans. The disease is also known as bone crusher fever and may take up to ten days after the mosquito bite occur. In severe cases, the virus infection lead to death. The number of deaths is due to early detection and medical care is relatively low. Approximately 2.5 percent of severe cases (about 500,000 per year) are fatal.
The disease starts as a flu with high fever. There are at least two of these symptoms: severe pain in the head, behind the eyes and muscles. Affected also often complain of nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands and rash. The symptoms usually last two to seven days.
Dengue fever is transmitted only by females of both mosquito species Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus to humans. Not all females carry the virus, they must first be infected themselves. This happens only when they bite a person who has dengue fever. After an incubation period of four to ten days a mosquito can transmit the dengue virus for the rest of her life to people. This mosquito is native to Asia, but is very adaptable. Therefore, it can also withstand colder temperatures. From person to person, the disease can´t be transmitted.
More than 2.5 billion people – over 40 percent of the world’s population – live in areas at risk. Dengue fever is particularly prevalent in the western Pacific, Asia, Africa and Central and South America.
There are four sub-species of the virus (DEN-1 to DEN-4), which are closely related. The good news: Anyone who has had dengue fever, is immune for the rest of his life against one type of the virus. The bad news is that sufferers are permanently armed only against the corresponding sub-genre. For the other three types of virus immunity does not last long. In addition: people who develop dengue fever several times, are more susceptible to severe disease.
A vaccination or a specialized treatment doesn’t exist. Doctors can only treat the symptoms of the disease, so as to reduce the fever and relieve pain. It is also important to provide the body with sufficient liquid. In severe cases, many sufferers have in fact more than 20 percent less blood plasma in the body as healthy people.
Prevention is the best protection against dengue fever. Long sleeves and long pants will help to protect against them. To rub with anti-mosquito protection products, further helps to protect against it.
The situation in Costa Rica is under control and there is no immediate danger, because the mosquitoes reside mainly in polluted, urbanized territories.
The team of Amadeus Travel will assist you with any specific questions and advise you gladly.