What are the common symptoms of severe dengue fever?

Since the onset of rains, the dengue virus has again shown us that it is just difficult to eradicate the infection from our planet. There is enormous information available to the general population on coronavirus and HIV AIDS. However, we still are ignorant about dengue and continue with our dengue inappropriate behavior. Hence millions of cases of dengue infection occur worldwide each year. Almost half of the world’s population is at risk.

Why do you get dengue fever?

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection that has spread to all areas of the tropics. Dengue is spread by a female mosquito belonging to the family Aedes aegypti. These mosquitoes are also known to spread chicken-guinea, yellow fever, and Zika virus infection. Dengue is widespread throughout the tropics and the incidence and spread are influenced by rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, and unplanned urbanization.

What are the common symptoms?

The range of symptoms varies tremendously in different sets of individuals. It may be a mild flu-like infection, manifestations include headaches, body ache, and mild to moderate fever. However, in some, the disease could be very serious. Low blood pressure due to capillary leak or severe bleeding due to various mechanisms including low platelet count in the blood is seen in many.

What are the common symptoms of severe dengue fever?

Fever up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, headache, muscle, bone or joint pain, nausea, vomiting, pain behind the eyes, and rash are very common. Most people recover within a week or so. In some symptoms may worsen and can become life-threatening. This is called severe dengue, dengue hemorrhagic fever, or dengue shock syndrome. Internal bleeding, organ failure, and even death can occur.

What are the warning signs of severe dengue fever?

The warning signs are seen one or two days after fever subsides. This may include severe stomach pain, persistent vomiting, bleeding from your gums or nose, blood in urine, stools, or vomited material. Irritability, restlessness, severe fatigue, or breathlessness are important warning symptoms. The sudden disappearance of fever, sudden drop in platelets, and prolonged vomiting, and abdominal pain are ominous signs.

How to confirm the diagnosis of dengue fever?

Dengue fever may mimic A complete blood count with specific reference to platelets is important. A very low platelet count may be worrisome, as this may be a cause of internal bleeding. Other organ-specific investigations like liver functions, kidney functions, and evaluation of the respiratory and cardiovascular fUnctions may become necessary in selected patients.

What are the different types of dengue viruses?

There are four types of dengue viruses. They are DEN 1, 2, 3, and 4. Infection with one type provides lifelong immunity against that type, but not against another type. Hence theoretically one can suffer from dengue 4 times in life.

What is the treatment of dengue fever?

At present, there are no specific drugs available to treat this viral disease. The treatment is supportive but equally extremely important. Patients should be isolated in a mosquito-free environment to prevent the spread of the dis-ease. Plenty of fluids, rest, paracetamol, and a soft diet are therapeutic in many individuals infected with dengue infection. Many may require \ hospitalization for dose monitoring particularly if the platelets are progressively reducing. Intravenous fluids, platelet transfusion, or even blood transfusion are required in certain cases.

other illnesses like malaria, Zika virus or viral hepatitis, or Chikungunya. It may mimic brain infections like meningoencephalitis. Hence a proper clinical examination followed by relevant tests is necessary. Blood tests for NS1 antigen are necessary This test is the earliest to come positive. After 2 or 3 days of fever, IgM antibodies would come positive. They may remain positive for a week or so. This is also diagnostic of dengue infection. IgG antibodies become positive after you have recovered from dengue.

What are the other tests for dengue fever infection?

After the coronavirus infection, we are in the midst of dengue fever. Though there are many cases, still thankfully they are not in epidemic pro. portions. Health care providers and the general population needs to be extremely vigilant about this infection. Keeping a clean environ• ment is the need of the hour. Areas, where mosquito breeding takes place, should be demolished. We should not allow a single life to be lost due to dengue infection.

Categories : Viruses

Dr Jay Deshmukh is Chief Physician and Director, Sunflower Hospital, Nagpur Honorary Physician to Honorable Governor of Maharashtra and PondicherryCentral. Dr Jay Deshmukh is an M.B.B.S., M.C.P.S., F.C.P.S., M.N.A.M.S., MD From Internal Medicine – Bombay and New Delhi.

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