Dengue outbreak: More severe strain of disease affecting lungs and stomach of patients

Diagnosis of dengue involves virological tests and serological tests. When one gets tested within the first week, they should get both the tests done.

Representational image. AP

Dengue fever is a vector-borne disease that is caused by mosquitoes that are infected with the dengue virus. The disease is widely present in tropical and subtropic regions. This year, in India, a potent dengue virus is sweeping different parts of the nation. In September this year, the government asked 11 states that are reporting high number of cases of the new variant of dengue to ensure early detection of the cases to prevent it from spreading further.

There are different variants of dengue, namely, DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3 and DENV-4. This means that it is possible to be infected four times. Dengue virus causes an acute flu-like illness. There are times when this can develop into severe dengue, this is mainly caused by the DENV-2 type which is considered more severe than other types.

Symptoms of dengue fever

There are two categories of dengue infection: dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. Their symptoms are as follows:

Dengue fever

  • Onset of high fever in a sudden manner
  • Severe headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in muscles, joints and around the eyes
  • Rash in the chest area
  • Vomiting and nausea

Hemorrhagic fever

Here the symptoms are similar to dengue fever. However, this is accompanied by severe and continuous stomach pain. This can further cause the skin to turn pale. Furthermore, there could be bleeding from the nose vomiting and the mouth may become dry.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of dengue involves virological tests and serological tests. When one gets tested within the first week, they should get both the tests done.

Treatment

A patient suffering from dengue may be given pills for the fever or to reduce the pain in the joints. However, once symptoms arise, it is best to consult a doctor.

According to WHO, more than 390 million people get infected with dengue throughout the year. Among those, about 70 percent of the disease burden is reported from Asia alone. This year in India, dengue cases have been more severe with patients showing signs of liver inflammation as well. Additionally, it has been also witnessed that patients have fluid build-up in their stomach and lungs. The number of dengue patients have been on the rise since the month of August this year. The severity this year is higher wherein the platelets are falling drastically.

With the seriousness of dengue on the rise this year, it is of utmost importance that one reaches out to a doctor and gets tested at the slightest visibility of a symptom.

The author is a registered medical practitioner and consultant at Internal Medicine department of Fortis Hospital in Noida

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