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
- Skin rash
- A sore throat
It begins with fever, body aches 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 a 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 with the mucosal surfaces.
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever
Here the fever rises beyond 105 degrees along with severing decrease in the platelet values. The person becomes extremely dehydrated because of plasma starts leaking from the blood vessels. This may lead to shock known as Dengue Shock Syndrome.
Dengue is confirmed by the presence of any 1 serotype of the virus DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4. However, these are lab-based tests and take longer to be reported.
Dengue NS1 antigen test is a kit based test and relatively faster results are obtained. It has a high accuracy and cheaper than lab-based tests.
Other tests that are a must to assess the severity of the condition are -
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Metabolic panel (Lipid Profile)
- 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 hematocrit value. A fall in the number of platelets beyond 80,000 cells/μL is an alarming condition and must be dealt with immediately. If it further falls below 20,000 cells/μL then a blood transfusion is required.
It has become a common menace today. But there is no need to be alarmed as it could be very easily handled just like any other viral disease.
Step to follow:
1. This virus causes a lot of dehydration by oozing of plasma out of our blood vessels and therefore first and foremost thing to do is to drink lots and lots of fluid. Not only water but liquids with salts in them. Go for juices, ORS, health drinks etc.
2. One of the very common symptoms of dengue is a high fever. It could rise as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit and above (but in rare cases of Dengue hemorrhagic fever) So the best thing to do is not to let the fever rise. It will be accompanied by body ache, watering eyes, headache, extreme weakness and many similar symptoms. Always take paracetamol/acetaminophen.
3. Wear full-length clothes, use mosquito replants and cover stored water as Ades mosquito breeds in fresh water. (ref: Center for Disease Control and Prevention)
4. Go see a doctor and take his advice. He will suggest a blood test which will allow him to monitor the platelet count and also confirm the presence of the virus in your blood. Then the blood test might be repeated after a few days to see if the platelets are normal or not and thus could be concluded if the patient is out of danger or not. If the platelet count falls then the person might have to be admitted to the hospital.
This condition is completely curable if not ignored and checked on time. So don't delay and if you feel like having become a victim of that darned mosquito then go and get checked at once.
Be prepared, Stay Safe.