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Dengue hemorrhagic fever: symptoms, contagion and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The bite of the mosquito virus transmits the classic dengue Aedes Aegypti is prevalent in tropical and subtropical countries, which have climatic conditions in which these types of insects can grow abundantly. This condition does not represent a great danger to health, disappearing by itself about a week after the first symptoms appear. However, in some patients, this pathology can turn into dengue hemorrhagic fever, a much more dangerous condition that, if not treated in time, can lead to internal bleeding, shock, and even, in more severe cases, death. In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain dengue hemorrhagic fever’s symptoms, contagion, and treatment.

Dengue contagion

Dengue is a disease transmitted through the infected bite of the female Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which becomes infected when it bites a person with this condition. Once this mosquito is infected, it can infect anyone who bites.

This pathology is common in countries with hot and humid climates, which are very prone to the proliferation of this type of insect, especially in areas with stagnant waters or ample vegetation. Once contagion occurs, the first symptoms of the disease will appear between 4 and 7 days later; until that moment, the patient will suffer from classic dengue, a condition that, with adequate rest, may disappear on its own.

However, when there is no rest or if there is a very dramatic drop in platelets, this condition can progress to dengue hemorrhagic fever. This disease requires immediate hospital care to prevent significant complications that put the well-being or life of the patient at risk.

Dengue types and onset of hemorrhagic dengue fever

There are four different dengue strains, DEN_1, DEN_2, DEN_3, and DEN_4. The first time we contract this condition, it is always classic dengue. However, it can progress to hemorrhagic dengue under certain circumstances. Once we acquire a type of dengue, we will develop immunity to that strain; however, if we contract any other kind, we risk suffering from hemorrhagic dengue fever.

The dengue virus attacks our body by significantly reducing our level of platelets, which is an ordinary condition that should be between 150,000 and 400,000 mcL. Platelets are responsible for proper blood clotting. When they are not at an optimal level, several of the classic symptoms of this condition appear, but there is also the risk of dangerous internal bleeding.

When platelets drop to 100,000, it is essential to observe the patient closely and maintain adequate rest, hydration, and a light diet that allows him to regain strength; in some cases, hospitalization may be considered with this condition.

If the count drops to 50,000, imminent hospitalization will be necessary since the spontaneous bleeding that characterizes dengue hemorrhagic fever begins to appear; from this moment on, medical control must be strict to increase platelets and prevent shock and the presence of severe bleeding.

Symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever

At first, this condition manifests itself with the symptoms of classic dengue, which begin with a sudden high fever of 40º C; this condition is accompanied by signs such as:

  • Fatigue.
  • Severe pain in the eyes
  • Headache.
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Lack of appetite.
  • General discomfort.
  • Appearance of a slight rash on the skin.

As the platelets begin to reduce, the above symptoms intensify, and others also appear, such as:

  • Small spots of blood under the skin.
  • Excessive sweating
  • Bleeding in the gums, nose, and blood in the urine or stool.

Given this condition, immediate medical attention is essential, so it is recommended to go to a health center.

How dangerous is dengue hemorrhagic fever?

It is essential to clarify that recovery is quite favorable if dengue is treated through medical care and hospitalization when platelets begin to drop to dangerous levels. However, those cases in which patients do not seek medical assistance can be significantly complicated.

If a state of shock occurs, there is a risk of serious complications or even loss of life due to internal bleeding. Less commonly, seizures, kidney, liver, or brain damage can occur due to this disease. These cases occur in patients who did not receive adequate medical care or who went to a specialist when platelet levels were too low to be able to act widely.

Suppose you live in an endemic country or have recently traveled to a country with a tropical or subtropical climate, at the first symptoms of dengue. In that case, it is essential to see a doctor determine if it is this condition and receive all the necessary care that allows adequate Recovery. This is especially important in the case of babies, children, and the elderly, the public most sensitive to this virus.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever treatment

Classic dengue does not have a specific treatment to combat the virus. Therefore hemorrhagic dengue has no cure. But because the patient is, in these cases, under constant medical care and hospitalized, some measures can be applied to favor the increase of platelets; the most common are:

  • Intravenous hydration to combat dehydration and improve electrolyte levels in the body.
  • Control of fever with medication.
  • Platelet or blood transfusions to combat problems caused by possible bleeding.
  • Management and constant care to stabilize the patient.

With timely and proper medical care, this condition has a good prognosis for Recovery.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Dengue hemorrhagic fever: symptoms, contagion and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Immune System category .

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