Dengue hemorrhagic fever: All you need to know about this rare condition



Even though we have officially exited the monsoon season, the dengue cases in the country continue to rise dramatically.

This year, dengue cases led to severe symptoms and hospitalisation, all due to the new D2 strain of the virus.

Besides, overlapping symptoms of dengue with Covid-19 made it more complex to detect the correct diseases earlier and start treatment at the right time.

Fever, chills, muscle pain and rashes are typical symptoms of dengue.

This disease is seldom fatal, but delay in treatment can progress into a more serious condition known as dengue hemorrhagic fever.

​What is dengue hemorrhagic fever?

Dengue is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses. It can even happen when a person is exposed to infected blood, but mosquito bites are more common.

Once you are infected with one type of virus, you may develop immunity against it for the rest of your life. However, it does not protect you from other strains of the virus. A person may come in contact with all four strains of the dengue virus. In fact, studies suggest that coming in contact with different strains of the dengue virus makes the person more vulnerable to developing dengue hemorrhagic fever. Some people even develop a hemorrhagic fever after recovering from the dengue virus infection.

​Symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever

Symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever differ from the severity of the case. Mild cases of the condition may include:

  • Bleeding under the skin
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Mild, moderate, or high fever
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the muscles, bones, or joints
  • Rashes on the skin

If you are recovering from dengue and suddenly you develop new symptoms that may also indicate dengue hemorrhagic fever. Call your doctor if you witness:

  • Restlessness
  • Acute, or sudden, fever
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Bleeding or bruising under the skin
  • Cold or clammy skin
  • Nosebleeds

Who is more prone to this condition?

The mosquito-borne disease, dengue can cause infection in any individual and even cause severe symptoms in case of carelessness and delayed treatment. The chances of developing dengue hemorrhagic fever are common among:

  • Infants and small children
  • Pregnant people
  • Older adults
  • Those with compromised immune systems

How is the condition treated?

Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may opt for one or two of the following treatment options:

  • Over-the-counter or prescription drugs to manage pain
  • Electrolyte therapy
  • Blood transfusions
  • Oxygen therapy

All of these methods help to control the symptoms of dengue from alleviating, allowing your body to heal naturally.

How to prevent mosquito-borne diseases

It is always better to protect yourself from diseases than to take treatment afterwards. Although there is no vaccine to prevent dengue you can prevent the infection from spreading by taking simple measures:

  • Ensure that stagnant water containers are removed
  • Use mosquito repellant and cream on open parts of the body
  • Make sure windows and doors are closed after sunset
  • Wear full clothes when going out
  • Keep your water tank covered
  • Do not litter open places surrounding your house