Q. What is dengue?

Dengue is flu like illness caused by any of four closely related antigenically different dengue viruses (DEN 1, DEN 2, DEN 3 or DEN 4). The virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected female mosquito. The incubation period of dengue fever normally ranges from between 3 to 14 days.


Q. What is dengue heamorrhagic fever (DHF)?

Dengue haemorrhagic fever is a more severe form of dengue illness and can be fatal if unrecognized and not properly treated in a timely manner. DHF is caused by infection with the same viruses that cause dengue fever and plasma leaking is a main feature of the illness.


Q. How are the dengue and dengue heamorragic fever (DHF) spread?

Dengue is transmitted to human by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquitoe. The mosquito becomes infected when it bites a person who has dengue virus in their blood. After about a week, the mosquito can transmit the virus while biting a healthy person. There is no person to person transmission


Q. what are the symptoms of dengue

The common symptoms of dengue fever includes high grade fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle pain, bone pain, nausea, vomiting, rash, sometimes mild bleeding,

Dengue heamorrhagic fever is more severe form of dengue illness characterized by fever that lasts from 2 to 7 days, in addition to the symptoms of simple dengue fever; they may have persistent vomiting, severe abdominal pain, difficulty in breathing, dizziness, bleeding etc. In Dengue heamorrhagic fever patient may enter in to the critical phase of the illness where the small blood vessels become leaky allowing the fluid component of the blood to leak to chest and abdominal cavity.

This can lead to reduction in blood volume and therefore poor blood supply to vital organs, such as brain, kidneys & liver. This may lead to failure of the circulatory system and shock, followed by death if circulatory failure is not corrected.


Q. What are the treatments for dengue?

If a person is having symptoms suggestive of dengue it is adviced to take paracetamol in recommended doses to alleviate fever and pain. They should avoid taking other pain relieving drugs and need to rest without doing strenuous exercises and any other tiring activities. Early diagnosis & supportive care with intravenous fluids and frequent blood test monitoring reduces complications of the disease.

They have to drink adequate fluid and consult a doctor if symptoms persist more than 2 days. If they develop vomiting, severe abdominal pain, dizziness, difficulty in breathing, or any other significant symptoms any time during the course of illness (Even after fever declines), it is advised to go immediately to the hospital for evaluation.


Q. Where to complain?

If a person needs to complain regarding a possible dengue mosquito breeding place, it is always encouraged to have a discussion with the owner or responsible person regarding the problem. If it is not satisfactory informing the relevant Public Health Inspector and Medical Officer of Health of the particular area and Local Government institution (i.e Municipal council/Town council / Pradeshiya sabha ,etc) should be the next step.

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Contact Us

  • National Dengue Control Unit,
    Ministry of Health,
    Public Health Complex
    , 555/5, Elvitigala Mawatha, Narahenpita, Colombo 05, Sri Lanka.
  • (0094) 1 2368416, 2368417

What is dengue fever

Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are four closely related but antigenically different serotypes...

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