Dengue Fever - Symptoms

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What are dengue fever symptoms and signs?

After being bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus, the incubation period ranges from three to 15 (usually five to eight) days before the signs and symptoms of dengue appear in stages. Dengue starts with chills, headache, pain upon moving the eyes, appetite loss, feeling unwell (malaise), and low backache. Painful aching in the legs and joints occurs during the first hours of illness. The temperature rises quickly as high as 104 F (40 C), with relatively low heart rate (bradycardia) and low blood pressure (hypotension). The eyes become reddened. A flushing or pale pink rash comes over the face and then disappears. The lymph nodes in the neck and groin are often swollen.

High fever and other signs of dengue last for two to four days, followed by a rapid drop in body temperature (defervescence) with profuse sweating. This precedes a period with normal temperature and a sense of well-being that lasts about a day. A second rapid rise in temperature follows. A characteristic itchy rash (small red spots, called petechiae) appears along with the fever and spreads from the extremities to cover the entire body except the face. The palms and soles may be bright red and swollen.

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Comment from: Amedeo, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: March 08

I had a job travel, and got very sick with dengue fever, with fever at 38.5 Celsius, shaking hands, to the point I was unable to write, very bad vision and weakness. In the first visit to a local doctor, I got my platelets count at 50,000. I then stayed in bed for other three days drinking a lot of water and taking acetaminophen. After three days, another blood test indicated platelets at 20,000, which was strange because I felt well, no fever, no pain in any part of my body, no headache, no weakness, no bleeding in gums or red spots in my skin. But conscious of the danger, I was in 6 hours back to my country, directly to the hospital. After 36 hours of the last blood test, I had my platelets at 44000, after 6 hours of hydration, the platelets came to 52,000. They got my liver affected, but I was without pain, and the next day I was at home. After a week, I started to feel weak again, shaking fingers affecting fine hand movements and writing, and toes numbed. I could walk normally, but needed some effort to keep balance when not walking. I felt strange sensation from my knees to the feet when I stayed much time walking, and coffee increased the problems. Some days I feel better, others worse, at this moment I have passed 6 weeks after the fever.

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Comment from: LF, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 31

In January of this year, I suffered a pinched nerve in my back. It affected my right leg, which got numb and weak. I sat in my chair for the better part of 3 weeks, for I couldn't straighten my leg. I couldn't even sleep in my bed. I was stuck to my Lazy Boy pretty much for the duration. I decided on chiropractic care to relieve the nerve in my back. It worked, but I was still having problems with my knee. I still couldn't put any weight on it. Two weeks ago this past Monday I was working on a bathroom faucet, on my knees, moving around. Within an hour of this activity, I started to get short of breath. I thought it was a chest cold, so before that night, I took some cough medicine. The next day, I still felt a heaviness in my chest and the shortness of breath was worse, but I waited 2 days before I called anybody. That indecision almost killed me, for when my son came over to take me to the emergency room Thursday night, I was so weak and winded I couldn't leave the house. We called 911 and shortly thereafter found out I had pulmonary embolism in both lungs, about 6 clots in all, but it could have been worse. My medical team is pretty certain, that these clots came from that same right leg that was disabled some 2 months earlier. I've been home for a week, now wearing my medic alert necklace for warfarin, and taking it easy. Please don't procrastinate like I did. I have 5 grandchildren, and a wife of 36 years. They almost lost me because I waited to say anything.

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