The major difference between dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is that the latter is a severe form of dengue that occurs in a person with a dengue infection.
DF and DHF are caused by an infected Aedes species mosquito. The Aedes species are commonly found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
Four strains of the dengue virus may cause DF. After getting infected with one strain of the virus, your body may develop immunity against that strain.
However, the antibodies attacking one strain don’t attack other strains of the dengue virus. If your body gets infected by a different version of the dengue virus, it may trick the antibody to attack it.
Other differences between DF and DHF are highlighted below.
Dengue fever vs. dengue hemorrhagic fever chart
|Onset||It starts 3 to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito||Starts three to seven days after symptom onset|
Symptoms of DF include:
Symptoms of DHF include:
|Complications||DHF and dengue shock syndrome||
|Prognosis||Usually good because the person may recover within a week||Typically fatal if not treated earlier|
|Fatal||Can cause death in less than one percent of the population||Can cause death in 2.5 percent population. Without proper treatment, the death rate may increase to 20 percent|
Different grades of dengue hemorrhagic fever chart
Different grades of dengue hemorrhagic fever based on the severity of the symptoms are categorized below:
|Characteristics||Grade I||Grade II||Grade III||Grade IV|
|Signs||High fever with no to minimal signs of bleeding such as scattered petechiae (tiny spots, brown to purple, due to bleeding under the skin)||
The person may or may not be able to eat and drink as usual
Have more severe hemorrhagic manifestations than those in grade I
The person may have a weak pulse along with the following symptoms:
These symptoms could indicate a drop in blood pressure
|Severe drop in blood pressure, making it difficult to take reading|
|Needs hospital admission||Can be managed at home||Yes, if the person cannot eat and drink as usual||Needs hospital admission||Yes|
Drink plenty of water and frequently
Apply a wet cloth over the forehead to relieve the fever
Fluid and electrolyte replacement
Examine vital signs to check for a drop in blood pressure
Fluid and electrolyte replacement
Fluid and electrolyte replacement
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How is dengue hemorrhagic fever treated?
People with severe dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) need immediate medical attention. It is best to admit the person with DHF to the hospital for optimal care and to prevent mortality.
A dengue vaccine called Dengvaxia has been approved for use in children and adolescents aged 9 to16 years who have had previous dengue virus infection and are living in an area where dengue is endemic.
If a person presents with less severe symptoms, they might not require any hospital admission and can be managed at home. However, people who present with severe symptoms need hospital admission and immediate medical attention.
Some ways to prevent dengue fever include:
- Protect yourself from a mosquito bite.
- Find an insect repellent that is appropriate for you.
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt and long trousers while visiting a dengue-endemic region.
- Take steps to control mosquitoes indoors and outdoors.
- Sleep under a mosquito net.
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