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Preventive Care
Seasonal Health

Know Your Infections: Influenza-Like-Illnesses (ILIs) vs Dengue Fever

29 March 2024 · 5 mins read


Understand the key differences between ILIs and dengue fever for appropriate preventive measures.

What Makes Influenza-Like-Illnesses (ILIs) and Dengue Fever Different?

Influenza-Like-Illnesses (ILIs) and dengue fever are two illnesses that can cause similar symptoms but are quite different. ILIs are mainly caused by viruses that affect the respiratory system, while dengue fever is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Understanding these differences can help us recognise the symptoms early, seek the right treatment, and take preventive measures to avoid getting sick.

Let us explore the key differences between ILIs and dengue fever to stay informed and protected.

How Are ILIs and Dengue Fever Similar?

While ILIs and dengue fever are caused by different viruses and have distinct symptoms and modes of transmission, they also share some similarities:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea or vomiting

What Are the Symptoms of Influenza-Like-Illnesses (ILIs)?

There has been a wide range of symptoms for ILIs, ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Here are some of the symptoms that may suggest one is infected with influenza:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose

Gastrointestinal symptoms that occasionally accompany influenza, especially in children:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea

What Are the Symptoms of Dengue Fever?

Here are the dengue fever symptoms that you should look out for:

  • Sudden onset of high fever (40°C/104°F)
  • Severe, intense headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Aching muscles and joints
  • Feeling nauseous and vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Bodily rash

What Are the Warning Signs of Dengue Fever?

Watch for warning signs of severe dengue. If you develop any of the following symptoms, get medical attention immediately:

  • Bleeding from the mouth/ gums/ nose
  • Clammy skin
  • Internal bleeding that leads to black vomit and stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Small blood spots under the skin
  • Weak pulse

How Do You Best Prevent ILIs and Dengue Fever?


Prevention Tips


  • Get vaccinated.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or has symptoms.
  • Distance yourself from others when you are in indoor public spaces.
  • Avoid crowds and indoor places that have poor airflow (ventilation).
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you are not able to wash your hands, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Wear a face mask when in indoor public spaces or if you are in an area with a high number of people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw away the used tissue and wash your hands right away.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect often-touched surfaces regularly.

Dengue fever

  • Regularly clean out containers that may accumulate water and become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. This includes drums, buckets, and even flower vases.
  • Reduce the risk of mosquito bites by wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants and applying mosquito repellent.
  • Opt for citronella plants—a natural mosquito repellent—or products containing citronella in and around your home.
  • Keep your doors and windows closed whenever possible or use blinds or screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering.

Make an Appointment at Pantai Hospitals

If you experience any symptoms of ILIs or dengue fever, consult a doctor promptly for proper evaluation and appropriate medical care.

Pantai Hospitals have been accredited by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH) for its commitment to patient safety and service quality.

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