Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How long does it take to recover from dengue?"
I contracted dengue fever while traveling recently. I am a 30 year year old male. How long does it take to get over this?
Dengue fever is an infectious virus spread by mosquitoes and most often contracted in tropical climates. It is characterized by high fevers, rash, nausea / vomiting and joint and muscle pain leading to its common name of "break bone fever." In rare instances, particularly in individuals who have been previously infected with dengue, it can progress to a subtype called "dengue hemorrhagic fever," which can be fatal and is characterized by blotchy rash, abnormal bleeding, and ultimately shock and organ failure. The time-course of dengue in most individuals is a period of incubation of 10-14 days, followed by up to a week of acute symptoms, followed by a few days of recovery; rarely do the symptoms extend beyond two weeks for typical dengue infection. The hemorrhagic symptoms, when they occur, tend to occur in near the end of the first week after noticing symptoms. Typical medical therapy for dengue fever is supportive care with IV fluids (for those people who are too nauseated to drink) and pain medications - there is no medicine to cure dengue fever. Those with hemorrhagic dengue, however, require hospitalization and close monitoring by trained specialists. If you have any concerning symptoms such as difficulty moving or talking, blotchy rash or abnormal bleeding, dizziness / lightheadedness, chest pain or racing heart, or any symptoms that are concerning to you, you should seek an in-person consultation with a physician, as there is no other way to establish a diagnosis of dengue or to differentiate between the hemorrhagic and non-hemorrhagic subtypes of dengue.
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