Recently Dengue fever cases are on rise with decline in malaria cases in Mumbai.
It can present in various different forms with different patterns of fever or no fever. The care in Dengue fever is like that in any viral fever as mentioned below but in addition dengue can at times gets serious and life threatening and early signs that may warrant extra care/ monitoring or hospitalisation are:
1. drop in platelet count or total cell count
2.swollen face or limbs/hands/feet or distended tummy all may suggest fluid retention
3. reduced urine, low blood pressure or giddiness or feeling for lying down in bed than sitting or doing normal work
4.any rash/bruses or bleeding or similar manifestation
Tests that may make a confirmation are NS1 antigen test fro first 3-4 days of fever , then IgM and IgG tests for Dengue in subsequent days.
Tests are less important than clinical monitoring.Real risk may start when fever disappears and platelets start falling down.
Many viruses cause similar picture and are called dengue like illness when tests are negative. once first weeks symptom phase is passed, relatively there little or no risk due to dengue. As it spreads by mosquito bite, a simple trick of using body creams of mosquito repellant like say odomos will help prevent mosquito bites and spread of dengue from person to person in family and kids.
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