Doctors: Be On the Lookout for Dengue Fever
Once thought to be an isolated problem in the United States among world travelers, medical experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are now warning doctors to be on the lookout for signs of dengue fever among the general population. The warning comes in the form of a study published in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne infection that may cause symptoms such as fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes and joints, and muscle and bone pain. Other symptoms may include rash and mild bleeding from the nose and gums. A more severe form of the disease, called dengue hemorrhagic fever, may cause a patient to have a low platelet count and experience vomiting, abdominal pain and difficulty breathing after his or her fever subsides. Left untreated, dengue hemorrhagic fever can cause a fatal blow to the circulatory system.
Dengue fever was practically unheard of in the United States until recently. Physician practices and hospitals only just began reporting the disease in 2010 with ICD-9 code 061 Dengue. That first year, 70 cases of dengue fever were reported to the CDC. This year, the CDC says there have been eight cases: four in Pennsylvania, two in Washington, and one each in Indiana and Wisconsin.
Read the American Medical News report “Doctors Should Be on the Lookout for Dengue Fever” for the rest of this story.