Now most of the patient having fever are scared of dengue. They themselves are asking to give some tests to exclude dengue. Last year, the number of dengue patients were minimum but this year many more patients are affected.
We all know there are four dengue serotypes Den 1,2,3,4. Classical sign symptoms are high fever for two to seven days with severe headache, neck pain, retro orbital pain, body ache (Bone breaking pain) and rash. Sometimes there are thrombocytopenia, haemorrhage and plasma leakage, edema, ascities, pleural effusion, hypotension, shock and may even death. This year dengue symptoms and signs are quite different than taht of the classic pattern.
This year dengue affected victims develops fever, mild malaise and pain, which subsides after 2-3 days but following that, the patients starts vomiting, being restless, hypotensive, developing cold clammy skin, goes into shock associated with decrease platelet count and hematocrit rise. If there is any delay in treating these patients, they may succumb to death.
So, what to do now? If you develop fever with above symptoms and signs, don’t be panic - start paracetamol to reduce fever, take plenty of water plus oral rehydration saline (ORS), have rest and consult with a doctor.
On day one, if you are very worried you can do blood test NS1, better wait. After 4-5 days if you are not okay, do platelet count, hematocrit, tourniquet test and dengue IgM. Pay a visit to your doctor again.
If there are petechiae, purpura, echymoses, subconjunctival haemorrhage, vomiting, hypotension, weakness get admitted immediately following the doctor’s advice but keep taking ORS on.
Dengue is a vector borne disease and Aedes aegypti mosquito is the vector. By the bite of the infected Aedes mosquito the disease transmits. The mosquitoes mostly bite at dawn and dusk while they reside on stagnant clean water. We have to keep ourselves protected from the mosquito bites and at the same time we have to keep our premises clean. Stay happy and healthy.
The author is a Professor of Paediatrics at Community Based Medical College (CBMC), Mymensingh.