Dengue – The urban Menace

It is a painful mosquito borne disease troubling the tropical societies to its fullest. Transmitted  by the Ades Agypti group of mosquito. In the beginning it manifests as any common viral infection. 

Symptoms of Dengue fever

Symptoms begin to appear usually after 4 to 6 days of contracting the virus. These may include

  • Sudden, high fever

  • Severe headaches

  • Pain behind the eyes

  • Severe joint and muscle pain

  • Fatigue

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Skin rash

  • Sore throat

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    It begins with fever, body ache and joint pains. The fever is usually as high as 104 degrees Fahrenheit. If not kept under check it may soon progress to Dengue hemorrhagic fever. 
    Rashes may occur a little late but are very positive indicator.Rash in dengue fever is a maculopapular or macular confluent rash over the face, thorax, and flexor surfaces, with islands of skin sparing. The rash typically begins on day 3 and persists 2-3 days. Along with this there may be some bleeding associated from the mucosal surfaces.

    Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

    Here the fever rises beyond  105 degrees along with sever decrease in the platelet values. Person becomes extremely dehydrated because of plasma starts leaking from the blood vessels. This may lead to shock known as Dengue Shock Syndrome.

    Laboratory tests

    Dengue is confirmed by the presence of any 1 serotype of the virus DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4.

    Other tests that are a must to assess the severity of the condition are – 
    • Complete blood count (CBC)
    • Metabolic panel
    • Serum protein and albumin levels
    • Liver panel
    • Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) panel

    The most important factor is to keep a check on platelet count and heamatocrit value. A fall in the number of platelets beyond 80,000 cells/μL is an alarming condition and must be dealt with immediate. If required a blood transfusion should also be done.

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