In 2022, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh formed 60% of India’s cases. Let us check in detail about dengue fever.
Dr. Kanhu Panda is a Pediatrician in Bhubaneswar and currently practicing in Simpleekare Health. For the past 10 years, he has worked as a Pediatrician.
The 4 stages of Dengue fever
Dr. Kanhu Panda says, “Dengue is a viral disease. It is caused by a group of viruses called flavivirus which is actually caused by the bite of mosquitoes which are female Aedes mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are known to bite during the daytime. This virus is passed from the female Aedes virus to a person infected. He goes through the stages of dengue. There are 4 stages of the virus which are known as follows-
1st stage- Asymptomatic or Incubation phase can last for 14 days where virus multiples
2nd stage-Febrile stage lasts for 5 - 7 days with high-grade fever, body pain, headache, rashes and vomiting, and loose stools. This is when a test is done to check for dengue. The test is generally positive.
3rd stage-Non febrile stage -last for 1 -2 phases and the patient may lose blood through minor gum bleeding or may throw up landing into dehydration. The patient may have hemorrhagic fever or shock or critical illness which may need hospitalization
4th stage- Recovery or convalescent stage - this may be called fluid overload due to leaky capillaries.
Symptoms of Dengue in kids
Dr. Kanhu Panda informs, “The symptoms of Dengue in kids are as follows-
Body pain like backache
Retro Orbital pain
Red rashes called petechiae
Low platelet count
GI symptoms diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration
Pain in abdomen
Prevention for Dengue at home
Dr. Kanhu Panda explains, “The best way to prevent dengue is through following methods-
- Use mosquito repellent
- Keep children away from mosquitoes
- Avoid garbage areas
- Avoid water collection areas, especially rainwater
- Keep environment clean
- Avoid rainwater collection for breeding
- Wear full sleeves shirts for children to avoid mosquito bites
- Mosquito nets
Warning signs of severe Dengue
Dr. Kanhu Panda states, “The WHO has categorized dengue into two main parts -
- Dengue with warning signs
- Dengue without warning signs
The warning signs of dengue are -
- Severe pain in the abdomen
- Persistent vomiting
- Severe dehydration
- Bleeding in stools
- Gum bleeding
- Rashes petechiae
- Low platelet count
- Changes in sensorium
- High-grade fever in spite of paracetamol
- Fever more than 3-4 days
- Extreme weakness
Blood investigation is a must to rule out complications.
Dengue and hospitalization
Dr. Kanhu Panda says, “Dengue is mild with fever and has platelet count above 1 lac with no dehydration after fluid intakes like ORS and coconut water, then there is no need for hospitalization. If there are warning signs, then there is a need for hospitalization. If the platelet is below 1 lac or in case of multiple organ failure or jaundice, with persistent vomiting or rashes then hospitalization will be required in such cases.
Papaya leaves increase platelets
Dr. Kanhu Panda informs, “Papaya leaves are traditional medicines and have no correlation with modern medicine on a scientific basis. There are not much clinical data on this available. However, some clinical trials or studies suggest that papaya extract helps in destructing the viral cell membrane of viruses and this helps in preventing the replication of viruses. It helps in increasing the gene which stimulates platelet production. This needs more research and scientific backup. Papaya leaves are additional medicines and have no role in modern medicine.
Edited By: Dr. Rati Parwani
Contributed By: Dr. Kanhu Panda, Pediatrician, Simpleekare Health