Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection. It initially causes flu-like symptoms but can result in life threatening complications if not treated on time. Dengue fever is more prevalent in areas with tropical and subtropical climates.
Dengue fever affects people of all age groups but the incidence is higher in people in their 50’s. The symptoms of dengue fever usually develop after 4-7 days of acquiring the infection and lasts for ten days. Proper diagnosis and early treatment can lower the risk of death to 1%.
Signs and Symptoms
You may experience the following symptoms on acquiring dengue fever:
- Sudden fever spikes (around 1050 F)
- Severe headache
- Severe body pains and chills
- Bone, joints and muscle pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bleeding from the nose and gums
- Febrile convulsions
- Skin rash
Most patients with dengue fever mostly recover within 2-7 days. However, some patients may develop a serious complication referred to as dengue hemorrhagic fever. This condition can cause severe organ failure, excessive bleeding, dehydration, and even death.
Diagnosis of dengue fever
The following tests help in the determining dengue infection:
Complete blood picture: Severe dengue fever is associated with low levels of hemoglobin, and red blood cells. Dengue infection can damage the platelets therefore a low platelet count would be seen in CBC.
Antibody tests: When a person is exposed to the virus, the immune system produces antibodies IgG and IgM. These antibodies are detected by the antibody tests.
NS1 Antigen testing: Presence of NS1 antigen in blood in indicative of acute dengue infection. This antigen can be detected as soon as 24 hours and upto nine days after the onset of symptoms.
Molecular Tests (PCR): This test helps in detecting dengue virus and identifying the specific strain of virus that has caused the infection.
Basal Metabolic Panel: This test can help in determining the severity of dehydration in cases of complicated dengue.
Management of Dengue fever
- Home Measures
Certain measures can help in managing the symptoms and speed up recovery:
- Giloy: It is an Ayurvedic herbal remedy, which strengthens your immune system and protects your body against infections.
- Carica papaya extract: The extract of Carica papaya is effective in inhibiting the growth and development of the virus in the body. Thus, it helps in treating the symptoms of dengue fever.
- Fenugreek leaves: These leaves help in relieving pain and have a sedative effect.
- Turmeric: It boosts metabolism and fastens the healing process.
- Medical Interventions
There is no specific treatment to cure dengue fever. However, certain medications can be useful to manage the symptoms.
- Antipyretic medications- These are the most commonly prescribed medications to lower the body temperature. These medicines regulate body temperature that is used to treat sharp fever spikes for a specified period.
- Analgesic drugs: These medicines help in relieving the symptoms of pain as the fever causes pain in the bones and joints.
- Blood transfusion: Blood transfusion for platelets is recommended if there are signs of active bleeding and the platelet count is below 10,000 cells per microliter of blood.
- Electrolyte infusions: This can be done in order to prevent dehydration in dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Prevention of Dengue
- Use of mosquito nets: Using mosquito nets is one of the most reliable way to stay away from mosquitoes.
- Use of natural repellents: The use of natural repellents such as lemon eucalyptus oil, Lavender oil, Neem oil and Cinnamon oil act as natural repellents that protects you from mosquitoes.
- Maintaining clean environment: Maintaining your surrounding clean and tidy prevents the growth of mosquitoes that are responsible for causing dengue fever.
- Prevent stagnation of water: Stagnant water is the most common mosquito breeding sites. Therefore, vases and containers that hold water should be cleaned and refilled at-least once a week.
Why choose Apollo Diagnostics?
We have the expertise of 34 + years in healthcare. Our labs are equipped with EQUAS (External Quality Assurance System) and loaded with full automated machines to ensure error free reports, with a quick turnaround time, and at an affordable price. For your convenience, we offer free home collection of samples.
For appointments, please call 4444 2424.
- Dengue Fever. https://www.healthline.com/health/dengue-fever#overview1. Accessed on 16/10/2017
- Dengue Fever. https://www.emedicinehealth.com/dengue_fever/article_em.htm. Accessed on 16/10/2017
- Dengue Fever. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/215840-overview. Accessed on 16/10/2017
- How to Prevent and Treat Dengue: 6 Home Remedies. http://food.ndtv.com/opinions/how-to-prevent-and-treat-dengue-6-home-remedies-1212223. Accessed on 17/10/2017