What is dengue?
Dengue, also known as dengue fever, is caused by the dengue virus. The first symptoms appear within three to 14 days of infection. Generally, a dengue infection progresses without symptoms. When someone does develop symptoms, they are often flu-like symptoms, such as sudden spikes in fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, sore throat and coughing. These symptoms disappear on their own after a few days to a week. In a small percentage of cases, serious complications develop. The severe form of dengue is also called dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF). Symptoms associated with it are dot-shaped, dark red spots on the skin (after two to five days) and bleeding of the gums, heart, nose, liver and intestines. If a person loses too much blood because of this, it can lead to shock (dengue shock syndrome) and eventually death.
How do you get dengue and in which countries is it common?
The dengue virus transmits through the bite of (Aedes) mosquitoes. The main types that can carry the virus are the yellow fever mosquito and the Asian tiger mosquito. The mosquitoes that transmit the virus are mainly active during the day. The dengue virus is primarily found in the (sub)tropics. This includes Africa, Southeast Asia, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
What can you do to prevent dengue?
You can be vaccinated against dengue. This is advised for travelers who have previously had a dengue infection because they have a greater risk of a more serious course of the infection in the event of a re-infection. Besides or in addition to vaccination, good anti-mosquito measures are important if you are going to travel in risk areas. These include wearing clothing that covers you, applying a mosquito repellent such as DEET and sleeping under an (impregnated) mosquito net. Based on your travel plans, we will be happy to give you personal advice.
What are the side effects of the dengue vaccine?
The dengue vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine and therefore has more side effects than other vaccines. After vaccination, local reactions (pain, redness), headache, myalgia, fatigue, malaise and fever may occur. These side effects last 1 to 3 days. After 7 to 14 days, mild symptoms similar to dengue virus infection, such as headache, joint pain and skin rash, may appear. These side effects are more common in individuals who have not previously been infected with dengue than in individuals who have previously been infected with dengue. After the second dose, there are far fewer side effects than with the first dose.
How long does the dengue vaccine protect?
The vaccination consists of two doses. There should be at least 3 months between these two doses. The duration of protection after these two doses is not yet known. Research that has not yet been published shows that antibodies decrease in the blood after 4-5 years.
Questions or schedule an appointment?
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