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: abdi, Male (Caregiver) Published: November 04

With dengue fever, I had vomiting and pain behind the eyes. Vomiting contributed to more pain behind my eyes because of the straining I did when vomiting, and after a week or so blood accumulated in the lower part of my eyes. I had high fever. When I urinated, it burned. I had pain all over my body, actually felt so weak.

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Comment from: RafflesPatient, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

At first, I got fever, then I did not have appetite and always wanted to be in bed. I took paracetamol for my fever for almost 5 days without knowing it was not a normal flu and experienced pain at the back of my eyes but I did not have rashes and bleeding. On the 6th day when I went to the clinic and checked my platelets and the count was 27, they advised me to go and admit myself to the hospital. I felt some dizziness but I still could walk and still did not have any rashes or bleeding. When I arrived at the hospital, they check my platelets again it had dropped to 16 and they confirmed that I got dengue. The attending doctor told me that my platelets should go up else they need to do transfusion. In the hospital they just gave me IV fluids (NaCl-sodium chloride) to rehydrate. On the 7th day I started gaining my appetite and my platelets started to go up to 21, then 33 on the 8th day, and on the 9th day it was up to 89. So I was discharged and went home to rest and eat healthy foods and drink more fluids. On my follow up checkup (13th day after having flu), I got to do my blood test again and got 494 platelets count but that exceeded the normal count of 120 to 450. It was explained to me that it was due to my liver function test result were still higher than normal range, but it will be okay in the following days. I just need to drink a lot of fluids, eat more fruits and healthy foods. My advice is that if you got fever and do not have any cough or colds, even if there are no rashes, if you can do a blood test, please do so. You can detect the virus earlier and you can get advice on what to do and eat to make a faster recovery.

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