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Home > Symptoms > Dengue Fever Symptoms - Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment | Max Lab

Dengue Fever Symptoms - Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment | Max Lab

Dengue Fever Symptoms - Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment | Max Lab

Overview of Dengue Fever

The illness known as dengue fever is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito carrying one of the dengue viruses. Normal dengue symptoms are flu-like, but they can deteriorate into severe dengue (dengue hemorrhagic fever), a condition that can be fatal. A second infection increases your risk of experiencing severe symptoms. Even if you've already had dengue, you can still obtain the vaccine.

What is Dengue Fever

Dengue fever is an illness you can get from the bite of a mosquito carrying one of four types of dengue virus (DENV). The virus is most frequently found in tropical and subtropical regions, including Central and South America, Africa, some regions of Asia, and the Pacific Islands.

Dengue is not contagious from person to person, unless it is passed from a pregnant mother to her unborn child. The initial infection normally has modest symptoms, but if you develop second infection with a different strain of DENV, your chance of serious problems increases.

What Causes Dengue Fever?

Dengue fever is brought on by one of the four dengue viruses. As soon as a mosquito bites you, the dengue virus can multiply in your blood and spread to other people. You may feel ill due to the virus itself and the immune system's reaction.

The blood elements that help you form clots and give your blood vessels shape can be harmed by the virus. Internal bleeding may result from this, combined with specific immune system-produced substances, causing blood to flow out of your vessels. The severe, perhaps lethal symptoms of dengue are the outcome of this.

Who Does Dengue Fever Affect?

Africa, Central and South America, some regions of Asia, and the Pacific Islands are where dengue is most frequently found. Dengue is present in a few areas of India. Most of those at risk is more than half of the world's population living in or traveling to these regions. The chance of developing a major illness is higher in children and the elderly.

Can you be Immune to Dengue Fever?

Yes, you can become immune to a certain type of virus after contracting it. Given that there are at least four different viral strains, this is rather difficult (DENV).

Your immune system has resources at its disposal that it can use to recognise diseases and become more effective at fighting them off. When fighting a virus, your body looks through its arsenal to find the instrument (antibody) that can defeat that particular threat.

An antibody selectively targets every dangerous invader in your body and connects to it, just like a key binds to a lock. Once antibodies stick to the target, your immune system destroys it. Once your body develops a resistance to that particular virus, you are unlikely to contract it again.

Once you have one of the four DENV strains, you shouldn't be able to get another one. Other variations, however, also don't completely match the antibodies of that strain. A different strain of DENV may therefore be able to trick your immune system if you subsequently contract it by leveraging this poor match (antibody-dependent enhancement).

The antibody against the previous strain you had can bring the different strain into your cells, but for unknown reasons, it is not able to drive it out. Then, without your cells being aware of its danger, it penetrates your body. This makes it easier for the virus to infect you and cause a more serious illness.

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

The symptoms of dengue fever can differ depending on how serious the infection is. When someone has dengue fever, symptoms are absent in roughly 75% of cases.

Mild Dengue Fever Symptoms

A rapid fever of roughly 104°F (40°C) or greater may occur if symptoms appear and include one or more of the following:

  • aching muscles and joints
  • rash
  • pain behind the eyes
  • nausea and vomiting
  • facial flushing
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • red eyes

The majority of patients recover after a week, and symptoms typically last between two and seven days. The temperature may rise, then drop for a day before rising again.

Severe Dengue Fever Symptoms

Between 0.5 and 5 percent of dengue fever cases can be considered serious. If this happens, life can be at danger.

In the beginning, the temperature often drops to 99.5 to 100.4°F (37.5 to 38°C). Severe symptoms may then start to appear between 24 and 48 hours later, or around 3 to 7 days after the person first feels sick.

They include:

  • Abdominal pain or tenderness
  • Vomiting at least three times in 24 hours
  • Bleeding from the nose or gums
  • Vomiting blood
  • Blood in the stool
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling restless or irritable
  • Changes in temperature from very hot to very cold
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • A weak and rapid pulse
  • A reduced difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure

Severe symptoms and signs can be a marker of DSS or DHF. They might prove lethal.

Dengue Symptoms in Children

Children frequently experience less severe dengue symptoms than adults do. Here are a few warning symptoms of dengue in young children:

  • Longer than five days with a high temperature
  • Decreased body temperature (less than 96.8 degrees F)
  • A skin rash
  • Daily vomiting many times
  • Nose and gum bleeding
  • Feeling constantly drowsy
  • Irritability
  • Lots many tears

Dengue fever symptoms in pregnancy

Pregnancy-related dengue fever symptoms might range from mild to severe. Symptoms of mild dengue fever include:

  • High fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dengue fever rash (usually in the palms and soles with itching and swelling)
  • Eye, muscle, and joint pain
  • Swollen glands
  • Headache

The less severe dengue hemorrhagic fever symptoms should go away in two to seven days, but serious cases demand prompt medical attention. Internal bleeding, shock (an abrupt drop in blood pressure), and even death could occur if it goes untreated. The signs of severe dengue fever typically show up 24 to 48 hours after your fever has subsided. The following are a few signs of severe dengue fever:

  • Severe belly pain and tenderness
  • Vomiting at least three times within 24 hours
  • Bleeding from the gums or nose
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Blood in vomit, urine, or stools
  • Fatigue, restlessness, and irritability

If you are experiencing severe dengue symptoms and believe you could be pregnant, call your doctor immediately. Early detection and prompt treatment can dramatically lower the likelihood of issues.

It can be challenging to identify dengue fever since it shares many of the same symptoms as typhoid fever, malaria, and mosquito-borne illnesses like chikungunya, Zika, and chikungunya. Be prepared to tell your healthcare provider about your travels and whether you have been to areas where mosquitoes are a problem. Your doctor may also ask for a blood test to verify a diagnosis.

Diagnosis of Dengue Fever

Blood tests are used by doctors to look for dengue virus antibodies or illness. A physician might employ a serological or virological test.

Virological test

This test specifically looks for viral components. This kind of testing may not be offered in all medical facilities because it frequently needs specific tools and a team with technical training.

Serological test

If an infection is current or recent, this test checks for antibodies in the blood.
If you experience dengue symptoms after returning from a trip abroad, you should see a doctor to get tested for the virus.

Lab Tests for Dengue Fever


Treatment for Dengue Fever

There is no specific drug that can be used to treat dengue illness. If you believe you have dengue fever, use acetaminophen-containing painkillers and avoid aspirin-containing drugs since they may aggravate bleeding. You should also make sure to obtain enough rest, water, and medical attention. In the first 24 hours after your fever has subsided, if your symptoms worsen, you should visit a hospital right once to be evaluated for problems.

Preventing Dengue Fever

The best way to prevent getting sick from the disease is to stay away from mosquito bites, especially if you live in or are visiting a tropical area. This comprises taking preventative measures and making an effort to lower mosquito populations. In order to help adolescents aged 9 to 16 who have already contracted dengue from getting sick, the FDA authorised the Dengvaxia vaccine in 2019. However, a vaccine to protect the general public from contracting it is not yet widely available.

To protect yourself:

  • Even inside, use insect repellents.
  • Wear long sleeves and long, tucked-in pants when you're outside.
  • Use the air conditioning if it's available indoors.
  • Ensure the screens on your doors and windows are solid and without any gaps. Use mosquito netting if your sleeping quarters aren't air conditioned or screen-enclosed.
  • See your doctor if you exhibit dengue symptoms.

To reduce the mosquito population, get rid of mosquito breeding areas. These might include old tyres that collect rain, flower pots, or cans. Pet water dishes and outdoor birdbaths should both have fresh water periodically changed.

If someone in your home has dengue fever, take extra precautions to keep mosquitoes away from you and your family members. Through mosquito bites, infected family members could spread the disease to others in your house.

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