//Essential facts that you should know about Dengue

Essential facts that you should know about Dengue

Every year, our country struggles with dengue, with a huge number of people getting infected and some of them requiring hospitalization. Dengue is an extremely common viral infection which is transmitted by mosquitoes and presents as high-grade fever, body aches and pain in the joints.

Here are some essential facts that you should know about Dengue

1. What Are The Symptoms?

-Dengue should be suspected when you have a sudden onset of high-grade fever with a severe headache, pain behind the eyes, abdominal pain, body aches, rash and vomiting. The fever can lasts for 5-7 days.

-Around 3-7th day of illness, the fever will be very less or even normal.

-This marks the beginning of the critical phase where there could be a rapid decrease in decrease in platelet count.

-It is important to monitor the platelet count and watchful of danger signs (bleeding, rash, abdominal pain or vomiting). It usually lasts for 2-3 days.

2. How Is Dengue Diagnosed?

-Dengue is diagnosed by a blood test called Dengue Specific Antigen DS-1 (with or without Dengue Antibodies) and complete blood count (CBC) including platelet count.

-Typically, a patient will be positive for dengue-specific antigen, decrease in platelet count and decrease in total white blood cells count.

-The normal platelet count is between 1.5 lakh -4 lakh.

3. How Should Dengue Be Managed At Home?

-Most patients with dengue fever will not require hospitalization.

-They should take adequate rest, drink plenty of fluids (3-4 litres) and monitor the platelets closely.

-Use cold sponging and Paracetamol for fever.

-Aspirin, Ibuprofen other painkillers should be avoided.

-Antibiotics are not required.

-It is important to be watchful of any danger signs (bleeding, rash, abdominal pain or vomiting).

-The patient can follow up with their doctor every 24 hour.

4. When Does A Patient Need To Be Hospitalized?

-The patient is usually admitted if he is dehydrated or bleeding or has any other danger signs.

-The patient is generally not admitted if the platelet count is above 50,000.

-The platelet transfusion is generally given if the platelet count is less than 10,000 in absence of bleeding manifestations.

5. Can A Person Get Dengue Again?

-It is possible to get dengue more than once.

-There are 4 different but related strains of dengue virus.

-Being affected by one strain offers no protection against the others.

6. Is A Dengue Patient Infectious?

-Dengue will not spread by touch, cough or secretions. But the spread of dengue from a patient to others is possible through a mosquito bite.

-The patient should be protected from contact with the mosquito by ensuring he sleeps under a bed net.