A Comprehensive Guide On Dengue

September 9, 2019 Manpreet Yomed No Comments


What is Dengue?

Since the last two decades, India has been seeing an increase in the number of dengue patients every year.  Dengue is a viral infection spread by Aedes aegypti mosquito. It is commonly known as a bone-breaking fever that is capable of scaring the life out of the body. After the rainy seasons in India, dengue is quite prevalent. Therefore, it is of prime importance to be aware of the symptoms and causes of dengue.

Dengue can be treated if it is diagnosed early or before the condition is not severe. Consulting to a doctor and receiving proper examination timely is very essential before the dengue becomes fatal.

Dengue fever has two forms

  • Break bone fever: When this fever occurs, a person suffers from joint and muscle pain.
  • Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF): It is a fever that causes life-threating symptoms. DHF mostly affects children who are below the age of 10. 

What are the Risk Factors of Dengue?

Tropical and sub-tropical regions are most affected by dengue around the globe. So, residing in these locations makes you susceptible to this disease. people who have a weak immunity system, are more prone to dengue infection.  However, if you are infected with dengue and you get infected again before you have fully recovered from the previous virus, this can lead to dengue hemorrhagic fever. Last, everyone should take precautions and cautious steps to prevent dengue and reduce the risks.

Is Dengue Curable?

Dengue fever is life-threating if not detected timely. Specifically, there is no treatment or antibiotic to cure dengue. But early diagnosis and treatment given to relieve the pain can save lives. So treatment is possible when it is diagnosed early.

What are the most likely symptoms of Dengue?

Dengue starts showing flu-like symptoms and these signs last up to 2-7 days. If you have been bitten by the infected mosquito, then the symptoms of the infection would usually start showing after 10-15 days.

Below are the most common symptoms and initial symptoms of Dengue:

  1. Sudden high fever.
  2. Severe muscle and joint pain.
  3. Swollen lymph nodes
  4. Nausea
  5. Vomiting
  6. Fever
  7. Exhaustion
  8. Rash

These are some dengue symptoms that indicate severe conditions.

  1. Severe abdominal pain
  2. Persistent vomiting
  3. Vomiting blood
  4. Bleeding gums
  5. Rapid breathing
  6. Fatigue/ restlessness

The symptoms are the warning signs of severe dengue condition which is DMF (Dengue hemorrhagic fever). This is a major concern and thus, a person showing these symptoms should be sent to an emergency and go to a hospital or a healthcare provider straight away.

What are The Tests Performed to Diagnose Dengue?

1. Dengue NS1 Antigen Test

NS1 antigen is a test that is done to detect the existence of the dengue virus infection in the body. In fact, this is a confirmation test for dengue. Dengue virus may not be detectable if the test is done immediately following dengue virus infection (<24-48 hours) and following 9 to 10 days of symptoms.

2. Dengue IgM/IgG serological Test

In the later stages of illness, the Serology test can be more useful than the NS1 antigen. Serology testing for dengue virus-specific antibodies (types IgG and IgM) is done to confirm the primary or secondary diagnosis in the dengue case.

3. CBC Test

If one is suffering from fever from 2-3 days persistently, then he should go for the CBC test. CBC is a Complete blood count test.

If the values of platelet count and WBC count is lower than normal value, then one should take the ns1 antigen test.

What are the Complications of Dengue?

Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a severe complication of dengue that can lead to an enlarged liver, and in more serious cases, it can cause dengue shock syndrome.

These complications can cause these conditions:

  1. Hemorrhage
  2. Low blood platelet count
  3. Damage to liver and lungs
  4. Low blood pressure.
  5. Tiny spots of blood on the skin
  6. Larger patches of blood under the skin
  7. Nose, mouth and gums bleeding or skin bruising

How long does it Take to Recover from Dengue?

Dengue lasts about 3-10 days, in the majority of the cases. In a few cases, it can last up to longer than this period. While the weakness may persist for one to two months. Recovery from DMF and dengue shock is not something that gets away quickly. Thus, the recovery period in this condition is delayed.

What can be Done to Treat Dengue Fever?

As discussed earlier, no specific treatment is available for dengue. But the treatment of dengue is possible. So your doctor can advise you to take proper rest and take a nutritious diet. While infected with the dengue virus, your body loses hydration and tends to be dehydrated. So, to prevent dehydration, it is recommended to take plenty of fluids. Don’t take any pain killer as it can increase bleeding complications. You should only take your doctor’s advice and should not take any medicine on your own. Diagnosis of dengue should be done timely for better recovery and proper treatment.

For dietary purposes, below are few diet tips play a vital role in recovery from dengue:

  1. Fruits like papaya, kiwi, guava and citrus fruits are helpful in making your immunity system stronger.
  2. Consumption of lemon juice and coconut water can make up for the water and electrolyte loss due to fever.
  3. Papaya leaves are used as home remedies curing dengue fever. So papaya leaves juice can help in increasing your blood count.

In case you have severe dengue condition, you may need.

  1. Supportive care in a hospital
  2. Intravenous (IV) fluid and electrolyte replacement
  3. Monitor blood pressure

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