The viral mosquito-borne disease, Dengue, is transmitted to the human body through bites from female infected mosquitoes. According to the WHO, these mosquitoes are also vectors that carry viruses of yellow fever, chikungunya and more. In particular, most cases of Dengue are asymptomatic, meaning that the patients show no symptoms or have mild symptoms. However, in some cases, this viral disease can be fatal. It manifests as a flu-like illness that can infect adults, children and infants. If left untreated, Dengue can rarely result in death.
If bitten by female infected mosquitoes, symptoms begin to appear within a time frame of about 4-10 days known as the incubation period. Symptoms usually last about 2-7 days after incubation. The World Health Organization has divided the disease into two broad categories: dengue fever (with/without warning signs) and severe dengue fever. Treatment becomes difficult for asymptomatic patients, who are most at risk of developing severe Dengue because their bodies show no symptoms.
Now, in a recent interaction with the Indian Express, Dr. Farah Adam Mukadam, a doctor at Kauvery Hospital, Bangalore, sheds light on a few Dengue warning signs that should not be neglected. According to the doctor, fever is the most common symptom of the disease. She divided the disease into three stages:
Fever stage, also known as the fever stage
The critical phase, in which complications can arise
The restorative phase is the time frame after treatment in which the body begins to recover.
These are the warning symptoms that you have Dengue
According to the doctor, once patients develop a fever, doctors check whether they have developed eye pain and joint pain. A Dengue patient in particular is likely to suffer from arthralgia – a temporary inflammation of the joint pain that is different from arthritis.
After a fever, the viral illness attacks a patient’s liver, giving rise to various problems, including nausea, loss of appetite, and vomiting. The expert adds that in mild cases, these symptoms get better with simple anti-gastritis medications.
If medication does not cure the vomiting, the patient will be given IV fluids under medical observation. The doctor said: “It is at this stage that the infection can get worse. If the patient’s vomiting has not stopped, hospitalization may be required for IV fluids.”
The doctor called the drop in platelet counts the “characteristic” of Dengue infections. She emphasized: “Platelets are the cells in our bloodstream that aid in clotting function. Serial platelet counts are done in dengue patients to assess the direction in which the counts are going. A serial decrease in the number is observed and if the number is below 20,000 cells/ ml drops, the patient should be admitted.”
Signs of Bleeding
In addition to nausea and loss of appetite, a nosebleed is also a symptom of Dengue. The expert suggests that women also tend to bleed through the vagina when symptoms become more severe. Itchy skin, small dots and rashes are also observed in patients suffering from dengue.
The infection disrupts blood circulation that is essential for the function of vital organs, including the heart, brain, and kidneys. This results in cold feet and seizures that require immediate medical attention. Recovery in patients with circulatory failure is difficult. The doctor said: “The recovery period can be unremarkable with post-viral fatigue or as severe as fluid buildup around the lungs – a condition known as pulmonary edema.”
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