Arboviruses

Symptoms of Infection

Most people infected with arboviruses have no symptoms. When signs and symptoms occur, they usually start suddenly, with:
 
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness.
     
In rare cases, infection with arboviruses can lead to encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Symptoms of encephalitis include:
 
  • Drowsiness
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Tremors
  • Coma.
     
Symptoms of hemorrhagic fever include signs of internal bleeding, which can lead to shock and sometimes death.
 
The time between exposure and symptoms can vary from 3 to 21 days.
 

Possible Complications

Complications of encephalitis caused by arboviruses can be serious -- they can include coma, permanent brain damage, and death.
 

Preventing Arbovirus Infection

Prevention depends mainly on public health action to control mosquitoes and on individual action to avoid mosquito bites. Community mosquito-control programs can reduce mosquito populations by applying pesticides and draining standing water.
 
Individuals can avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by taking these steps:
 
  • If possible, stay inside between dusk and dark. This is when most types of mosquitoes are most active in their search for food.
     
  • When outside in mosquito-infested areas, wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
     
  • Spray exposed skin with an insect repellent.
     
  • Put screens on windows and doors to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
     
  • Remove old tires and other water-holding containers from around homes. These can provide breeding sites for mosquitoes.
     
Vaccines are available for yellow fever and Japanese encephalitis.
 

Types of Encephalitis

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