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What you need to know about the Dengue virus

18 Jun 2019

Currently, in Singapore more and more cases of Dengue are starting to appear. But what is Dengue? How do we know if we or our children have it? And how can we prevent it?

In this article we are going to answer all your questions!

This graphic from the NEA website shows the number of dengue cases in Singapore at the moment:


As we can see, there is a significant peak since the last weeks, with 468 reported cases in Singapore.


Map of Singapore where dengue cases are the most present (Geylang, Woodlands, Serangoon, near of Warren golf course etc…)



What is dengue?


Dengue fever, also known as “breakbone fever”, is a virus which Aedes mosquitoes transmit to human beings. The dengue virus is currently progressing very significantly, and is now considered as a “re-emerging” disease.

Dengue fever is mostly present in tropical and subtropical areas throughout the world and in the north of Australia: therefore Singapore is impacted by the virus.


8 crucial facts:


The Symptoms


The incubation period of dengue is usually 3 to 7 days but can go up to 14 days.


Classic Dengue fever

→ The first symptom is the appearance of a strong fever which is often accompanied with:   


→ After 3 or 4 days, you are likely to feel a bit better, only giving you the time to take a breath, but from there on, the symptoms intensify: you are going to suffer from conjunctival hemorrhages, nose bleeds and even ecchymosis but will disappear rapidly after a week.

→ The healing process comes with a convalescence of 2 weeks. Classic Dengue, even if it weakens you a lot, is not considered a severe disease unlike Dengue hemorrhagic fever.


Hemorrhagic dengue fever

For some patients, for reasons that we are not aware of, the virus can evolve into 2 serious forms: Hemorrhagic Dengue fever and Dengue fever with shock syndrome which is fatal. Especially in children under 15 years old, hypovolemic shock can occur (cooling, wet skin and imperceptible pulse signaling blood circulatory failure). In this case you should be hospitalised as fast as possible.

This serious form of dengue remains rare and represents approximately 5% of Dengue cases worldwide.

Although it is important to note that even patients which are affected by classic dengue can still develop a Hemorrhagic Dengue fever.

Dengue fever with the warning signs of severe dengue requires emergency treatment and hospitalisation, as several hemorrhages can occur, including gastrointestinal, cutaneous and cerebral.

The warning signs of a severe Dengue are:


What should you do when you think you have Dengue ?


Make an appointment with your GP immediately.

Dengue will be confirmed by a blood test, accurate and fast. This test is crucial in order to confirm the etiology, both for your care and for public health surveillance systems to launch the alert.

There are no antiviral treatments for the dengue virus.


Nevertheless, there are 3 important things you need to do:


How to avoid the Dengue virus?


As dengue is an illness which is transmitted by mosquitoes, preventing dengue is as simple as preventing mosquito bites:  

Additional tips for kids and babies:


For even more information you can visit this website: National Health Agency


Stay tuned for more information on our facebook page for advice from our experts and a testimonial video from a UEX team member.


To find out more about healthcare topics in Singapore you can check our articles. To understand how your health insurance plans cover the healthcare costs, you can approach UEX’s happiness team by email or by phone for more information and guidance – and the good news is that they are super nice!

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