Dengue is a “viral infection transmitted to people through the bite of infected mosquitoes,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It claims that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are the main disease-transmitting vectors.
There is no “specific treatment for dengue/severe dengue,” despite the fact that severe dengue is a primary cause of “serious disease and mortality” in various Asian and Latin American nations.
The WHO continues, “Access to appropriate medical care and early detection of illness development associated with severe dengue reduce fatality rates of severe dengue to < 1%.”
The Aedes mosquito “has a rather emboldening nickname — the tiger mosquito,” according to Dr. Farah Adam Mukadam, a family physician at Kauvery Hospital in Electronic City (Bengaluru).
“What distinguishes it from the malaria mosquito is that it is striped and buzzes around during the day (and not at night). When an Aedes mosquito bites a victim, the dengue virus is spread to their body from the mosquito’s salivary glands, according to the author.
The doctor claims that when the dengue virus enters the body, it multiplies and fever is one of the initial signs. She claims that the illness has three stages: the fever stage (medically referred to as the “febrile” stage); the critical period (during which problems may occur); and the convalescent stage (recovery time).
The expert adds that eye discomfort and joint aches are the traditional symptoms a doctor looks for in a fever patient and clarifies that the dengue virus affects “arthralgia” rather than “arthritis.”
“Arthralgia is brief joint pain and inflammation; it seems if a virus has just licked the joint. Since the Chikungunya virus “bites” the joint, it has a longer duration and requires more healing time.
Dr. Mukadam says that after the onset of joint pain, liver inflammation follows, which manifests as nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. “Simple anti-gastritis medications” can control it in less severe cases.
“We do not admit at this stage unless the patient is vomiting nonstop, which is preventing them from keeping even the medications down. At this point, the infection has the potential to get worse. The doctor advises that admission to the hospital for IV fluids may be required if the patient’s vomiting has not abated.
She claims that even in dengue-endemic areas, a patient presenting with fever is not tested until 48 hours have passed. Their blood is drawn to determine whether it is dengue. Regular liver enzyme testing, full blood counts, and urine examinations are performed. The presence of blood cells in the urine, severely raised liver enzymes, and a falling platelet count indicate that the infection is becoming hazardous.
It should be highlighted that the declining platelet count is the “hallmark of this viral illness.” “Our bloodstream contains platelets, which aid in the process of clotting. In order to determine the direction the counts are heading, dengue patients have periodic platelet counts. The patient needs to be hospitalised if the count falls below 20,000 cells/ml, which is noted as a serial lowering count.
The doctor also advises that one should watch for bleeding indicators. Unexpected vaginal bleeding, tiny dots on the skin that indicate blood in the skin (medically referred to as “petechiae”), and spontaneous nose or gum bleeding are all things to be on the lookout for. During the infection’s healing phase, a straightforward pinkish rash that itches is visible, but it should not be mistaken for petechiae, the expert clarifies.
Dr. Mukadam warns that the blood circulation is also undergoing alterations. “Urgent management is required for fever that is accompanied by low blood pressure, chilly hands and feet, or convulsions. Long-term decreased blood flow can cause “shock,” which results in the brain, kidneys, and heart not receiving enough blood. Even death and a coma might result.
She continued, saying that low blood pressure and a quick or weak pulse should be closely monitored as they are indicators of “failing circulation.” The “healing period can be unremarkable with post-viral lethargy or as serious as fluid accumulating around the lungs, known as ‘pulmonary edoema,'” according to the article.