Dengue Fever - Describe Your Experience

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Please describe your experience with dengue fever. What, if any, were the prevention steps you took, as there is no vaccine?

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What is dengue fever?

Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. It is an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows a benign course with symptoms such as headache, fever, exhaustion, severe muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy), and rash. The presence of fever, itchy rash, and headache (the "dengue triad") is characteristic of dengue. Other signs of dengue fever include bleeding gums, severe pain behind the eyes, and red palms and soles.

Picture of Aedes albopictus mosquito
Picture of Aedes albopictus mosquito

Dengue (pronounced DENG-gay) can affect anyone but tends to be more severe in people with compromised immune systems. Because it is caused by one of five serotypes the dengue virus, it is possible to get dengue fever multiple times. However, an attack of dengue produces immunity for a lifetime to that particular viral serotype to which the patient was exposed.

Dengue goes by other names, including "breakbone fever" or "dandy fever." Victims of dengue often have contortions due to the intense joint, muscle, and bone pain, hence the name breakbone fever. Slaves in the West Indies who contracted dengue were said to have dandy fever because of their postures and gait.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever is a more severe form of the viral illness. Symptoms include headache, fever, rash, and evidence of hemorrhage in the body. Petechiae (small red spots or purple splotches or blisters under the skin), bleeding in the nose or gums, black stools, or easy bruising are all possible signs of hemorrhage. This form of dengue fever can be life-threatening and can progress to the most severe form of the illness, dengue shock syndrome.

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Comment from: HelloWorld_2015, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 17

One of my close relatives got fever one fine day with headache, vomiting and chills. He was shown to the doctor, and the doctor said it was some food poisoning and fever. After taking the prescribed medicines also fever and other symptoms persisted. Actually, condition started worsening. We went to the doctor again where seeing the condition they admitted him. Then, dengue test was also done where report showed negative. But still his condition was getting worse. They thought liver damage. Then again a senior doctor asked to redo dengue test after 3 more days, and this time it was positive with very low blood count, confusion in patient, vomiting, and even lungs were affected. He became very serious and doctors were also losing hope. Then we shifted him to another hospital in where he was on ventilator for some 17 days. Finally doctors thought of doing plasma therapy which worked and his condition improved. After that for a few days he was on some vitamins and other food supplements, lots of fluids, including physiotherapy as pain was there. Now, he is absolutely fine. But, it was dangerous hemorrhagic dengue fever from which those doctors helped him survive. Big thanks to them. But in the initial stage it is always suggested to have more and more fluids, how much ever you can take.

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Comment from: Karen, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

My symptoms of dengue started 7 days ago with severe body aches and a dull fever lasting 2 days. On day 3 it went away only to return on day 4 with higher intensity and fever was high with extreme chills, body ache, fatigue (limbs felt like lead) and headache. My platelet count on day 4 was 191000. I started drinking raw papaya leaf extract. On day 5 and 6 the symptoms persisted but did not get worse, although I developed itchiness in hands and feet, nausea and diarrhea. It is now day 7, I am going to get another blood test, but all in all, I feel slightly better. I think it's the papaya leaf.

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