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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Dengue fever

"The air was hot, sweaty and close. I was dripping in perspiration and I could smell I wasn't the only one. I wished I were taller and able to breathe the surely fresher air above. I was feeling nauseas and faint. I briefly caught Arthur's eye, before heads cut off the view. Hopefully my look was enough for Arthur to know I was in trouble."

Dengue fever also known as breakbone fever, is an infectioustropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash that is similar to measles. In a small proportion of cases the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.
Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito within the Aedes genus.

The mosquito Aedes aegypti feeding off a human host

Treatment of acute dengue is supportive, using either oral or intravenous rehydration for mild or moderate disease, and intravenous fluids and blood transfusion for more severe cases. The incidence of dengue fever has increased dramatically since the 1960s, with around 50–100 million people infected yearly, as poor Bakky will attest to.

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