The world is still fighting with one pandemic of COVID-19, and Pakistan is once again facing dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). Hundreds of cases are being reported in many cities of Punjab within the last few days.
In recent years, Dengue has spread across the country like an endemic, putting the lives of people across various age groups in grave danger. Around the globe, 50-100 million infections occur on a yearly basis according to WHO, and a total of 500,000 exclusive cases of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and 22,000 deaths.
The mosquitoes carrying the 4 main types of dengue, when bite, cause the incidence of dengue fever which may turn more severe and convert into Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. Based on the severities of the dengue fever, the symptoms may largely vary.
Mild Dengue Fever – Febrile Phase:
The primary symptom of the fever is the development of a skin rash, high fever and severe pain in muscle joints and behind the eyes. Other main symptoms of dengue may include:
- Chills followed by shaking
- Extreme exhaustion
- Mild bleeding of the gums
- Easy bruising
- Sudden onset of fever
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever:
The symptoms soon develop into more severe forms of the disorder, also called as the dengue hemorrhagic fever and are mostly caused by a secondary infection with a different strain of the dengue virus. However, the secondary infection with the same virus can also cause the development of dengue hemorrhagic fever. The main symptoms of the hemorrhagic fever include:
- Mouth and nose bleeding
- High fever
- Clammy skin
- Damaged blood and lymph vessels
- Bleeding under the skin or internal bleeding resulting in black vomit and feces
- Formation of red spots on the legs
- Bleeding into the intestines with sensitive stomach
- Weak pulse
- Lower number of platelets in blood
After the first diagnosis of dengue, a secondary infection may be fatal. The antibodies left in the body or blood make the reaction with the virus second time much more severe and life-threatening. If caught on early, DHF can be treated by the doctor using fluid replacement therapy.
If not caught on early, the critical phase of the DHF can result in the death of the patient with almost negligible chances of survival. The symptoms of the critical phase may include all the ones mentioned above along with the following:
- Intense stomach pain
- Altered mental status or disorientation
- Marked fall in the blood pressure (hypotension) or the state of shock
- Heavy bleeding
- Blood vessels leaking fluid
Diagnosis Of Dengue Fever:
Dengue fever is diagnosed by its typical symptoms during the endemic. But doctors confirm the dengue fever by prescribing blood tests. The CBC (complete blood count) shows the decrease in platelets count, that is one of the important symptoms of dengue fever. On the other hand, antibodies for the dengue virus in the blood show the presence of the dengue virus.
Treatment of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever:
The treatment of dengue fever largely depends on the wide array of symptoms it projects. Therefore they are more focused on alleviating the symptoms rather than curing the disease.
The use of non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can increase the risk of internal bleeding and therefore, other painkillers prescribed by the doctors can help in the alleviation of pain during the phases of fever.
During dengue fever, fever and recurrent vomiting can cause spells of dehydration in the body. Therefore, keeping yourself hydrated (preferably using bottled water) can help in replacing the lost minerals and fluids from the bloodstream.
Intravenous Fluid Supplements:
Due to the consistent loss of fluids through vomiting and fluid leaks from the blood vessels, the patients suffering from the most severe form of dengue are unable to intake fluids orally. Therefore require IV drips to restore the osmotic balance within their blood vessels.
In patients with severe dehydration, blood transfusion can help alleviate the symptoms by replacing the minerals and fluids of the body.
Complications Of Dengue Fever:
If not properly treated or misdiagnosed, dengue fever can be fatal. And its fatality rate is more than that of coronavirus infection. Here are some of the major complications that occur due to dengue hemorrhagic fever;
- Blood clots
- Brain damage.
- Harm to the liver and lungs.
- Heart problems.
Prevention Of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever:
As the clichéd saying goes, prevention is better than the cure and hence, it is important to remember small ways in which we can protect ourselves from mosquito bites:
- Covering the containers containing water or draining the water altogether to prevent the breeding of mosquito eggs.
- Using insecticides near the breeding grounds of mosquitoes or the pots filled with water.
- Breeding small fish in pots that feed on the larvae of mosquitoes.
- Cleaning clogged drains in residential areas regularly.
- Using mosquito repellent regularly and wearing bright-colored clothing which repels mosquitoes.
- Using netting for infants’ cots and normal beds as well.
- Using mosquito sprays in rooms regularly.
- Keeping the room windows closed.
- Avoid sitting in areas swamped with mosquitoes at dawn, dusk, and early evening times to avoid contact with dengue mosquitoes.
It is not just the responsibility of the government but ourselves as well to ensure the safety of our environments. We need to take initiatives and participate in activities that can help in creating awareness amongst people regarding dengue and help them protect themselves more effectively. Find the best doctors for dengue In Pakistan and all region of Pakistan here.
As we all know our healthcare departments are already working day and night to fight the war against coronavirus, so we need to avoid such conditions that may increase the spread of dengue fever. Try to avoid open areas that have greenery and public gatherings.
What is dengue hemorrhagic fever?
Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a severe type of fever with serious bleeding, which is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus.
What is the cause of dengue hemorrhagic fever?
Dengue fever is caused by any one of four types of dengue viruses. The virus is transferred to humans through a specific type of mosquito named Aedes species (Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus).
Does dengue contagious?
No, dengue is only spread through a mosquito bite.
What are the symptoms of dengue fever?
the major symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever are, mouth and nose bleeding, high fever, clammy skin, damaged blood, and lymph vessels, bleeding under the skin or internal bleeding resulting in black vomit and feces, formation of red spots on the legs, bleeding into the intestines with a sensitive stomach, weak pulse, and lower number of platelets in the blood
How to prevent dengue hemorrhagic fever?
You can prevent dengue hemorrhagic fever by avoiding mosquitoes. You can use mosquito repellents on your body and insecticide sprays in your home. Try to avoid sitting in open areas where the chances of mosquitoes are there.
What are the complications of dengue hemorrhagic fever?
Complications of dengue hemorrhagic fever may lead to death. It starts with high grade fever, organ damage like brain, heart, lungs damages, seizures, blood clots, and shock.
Book an appointment now to seek professional help from the best child specialist in Pakistan. You can book an appointment with top doctors in Pakistan through Marham by calling the Marham helpline: 0311-1222398 or online booking facility through the website or Marham mobile app.
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