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Today in Health & Wellness


Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult

Common name

Breakbone fever, H-fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever (Eng.)

Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease caused by any one of the four closely related viruses (DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, or DEN-4). It usually occurs in tropical and subtropical areas of the world.

The Aedes aegypti is the most important transmitter or vector of dengue viruses.

Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a potentially deadly complication characterized by high fever, hemorrhagic phenomena often with enlargement of the liver and in severe cases, circulatory failure.

  • High fever (up to 41°C) which may last 2 to 7 days
  • Severe headache
  • Backache
  • Joint and muscle pains
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark-colored stools
  • Weakness
  • Minor bleeding such as nose and gum bleeding

Dengue Hemorrhagic fever is dangerous when there is:

  • Spontaneous bleeding (epistaxis, gum bleeding, hematemesis, coffee-ground material per nasogastric tube, bleeding from venepuncture sites, hematuria, melena, hematochezia, menorrhagia)
  • Persistent abdominal pain
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Listlessness
  • Changes in mental status
  • Restlessness
  • Weak and rapid pulse
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Circumoral cyanosis
  • Difficulty of breathing
  • Seizures
  • Hypotension or narrowing of pulse pressure (<20 mmHg)
  • Platelet count < 100,000 cells per mm3 or 1-2 platelet per oil immersion field
  • Hemoconcentration
  • Prolonged bleeding time ( > 5 minutes by Ivy method)
Risk Factors
  • Virus caught from mosquitoes' bites (Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus)
  • Spontaneous bleeding
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Listlessness
  • Weak, rapid pulse
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Living in tropical areas
  • Previous infection with dengue fever virus
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • There is no specific treatment or vaccine for dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever. Doctors advise complete bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids. Doctors also prescribe electrolyte replenishers to prevent loss of fluids due to diarrhea.
  • To relieve fever, paracetamol is recommended by doctors. It is advisable to monitor patients for other complications.
  • Do not give aspirin for fever. Give sufficient amount of water to rehydrate a dengue suspect. If fever or symptoms persist for 2 or more days bring the patient to the nearest hospital.
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
  • Eliminate the places where the mosquito lays her eggs, primarily artificial containers that hold water.
  • The risk of being bitten by mosquitoes indoors is reduced by proper utilization of air conditioning or screening doors and windows. Proper application of mosquito repellents containing 20% to 30% DEET as the active ingredient on exposed skin and clothing decreases the risk of being bitten by mosquitoes.
  • Cover water drums and water pails at all times to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
  • Replace water in flower vases once a week.
  • Clean all water containers once a week. Scrub the sides well to remove eggs of mosquitoes sticking to the sides.
  • Clean your gutter of leaves and debris so that rain water will not collect as breeding places of mosquitoes.
  • Old tires used as roof support should be punctured or cut to avoid accumulation of water.
  • Collect and dispose of all unusable tin cans, jars, bottles and other items that can collect and hold water.
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