Dengue fever is viral disease spread by Aedes mosquitoes. The first case of dengue was reported in the West Indies in 1635. The first patient in India was found in 1956 in Vellore village in the state of Tamil Nadu. Dengue has become very common in young children. So let’s know complete information about dengue.
What causes dengue fever in children?
Dengue fever is caused by dengue virus which is virus of the Flavivirus family. Dengue virus is a single standard RNA virus composed of three structural proteins and glycoproteins, seven non-structural proteins. There are four types of dengue virus. Humans are the reservoir of this virus.
Dengue is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito but sometimes it is also transmitted by a mosquito called the Aedes albopictus. Aedes albopictus is also known by name tiger mosquito or forest mosquito as they have white colour of stripes on their body and legs. Aedes mosquitoes live in coconut groove, in clear rain water.
When the Aedes mosquito bites a dengue patient, it also carries the dengue virus from the patient’s blood. The incubation period of the virus is ten days. If the mosquito bites a healthy person after ten days, he gets dengue. Dengue is commonly seen in four to six weeks of rainy season.
What are the symptoms of dengue in young children?
Dengue symptoms begin to appear in young children within seven to eight days of dengue infection.
- High grade fever – There is high grade fever with chills and it is recurrent type of fever. Fever can be there for 5-7 days.
- Extreme headache, body aches – Bodyache is also severe. In some patients we may see retroorbital pain means there is pain behind the eyes.
- Loss of appetite – Appetite is totally reduced as the patient do not have ability to eat anything.
- Joint pain – Major joints are involved in dengue like knee joint, elbow and shoulder joint.
- Red rash appears on the body in two-three days after fever. Itching is also present along with rash which may be uncomfortable for the patient.
- Vomiting and nausea.
- Stomach ache
Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever - In addition to the above symptoms, bleeding from the nose, bleeding gums and shaking.
Dengue Shock Syndrome – In this, symptoms like Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever and low blood pressure are seen, in such situation there is a great danger to the life of the patient.
Dengue test is done when a child has a high fever and the cause is not known and he has a cold. Babies lose their appetite and have no taste in their mouth, That’s why they don’t eat anything. Continuously decreasing platelets also cause dizziness in the child.
Bleeding – Any kind of bleeding from body is alarming in dengue fever. Red urine and black colour stool is one of the warning sign.
Weakness – Dengue lowers the blood pressure of the child, making him very weak. Sometimes children do not even have the strength to walk
Red rash on the body – Red rash appears everywhere on the body and along with it itching also increases, in such case the child may have dengue fever.
Cold, cough – Sometimes a child gets cold, cough and then the symptoms of dengue appear.
How many types of dengue are there?
Dengue is of three types from the above symptoms.
1) Dengue fever
2) Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever – Dengue fever + Thrombocytopenia (Decrease in platelet count below 100000.
3) Dengue shock syndrome – Dengue hemorrhagic fever + Low blood pressure.
How is dengue fever diagnosed in children?
Dengue fever is diagnosed by doctors through tests and symptoms. Blood tests and dengue antigen tests are done to confirm dengue fever.
Blood tests – Blood tests show a decrease in white blood cells. Platelets are also low, hematocrit is high. This happens because the amount of water in the blood decreases. In some patients due to decrease in the immunity, there is rapid decrease in the platelet levels.
Dengue antigen test is of type NS1, IGM, IGG.
NS1-positive is a recent infection. Infection occur in 2-3 days prior.
IgM positive is 3/4 day prior infection.
IgG positive is an infection that occurs seven to eight days earlier.
X-rays – X-rays provide information about pneumonia in the chest.
Sonography – In sonography, water collection is visible in the patient’s abdomen and chest. Swelling appears on the liver and gall bladder.
The patient’s blood pressure is also measured low according to his age.
What are the danger signs of dengue in young children?
- Vomiting of blood
- Difficulty in breathing
- Stomach ache
- Feeling very weak
If any of these symptoms appear, it is important to consult a doctor without delay.
What is the treatment for dengue in children?
There is no cure for dengue as it is a viral disease but it is important to take the following measures
- Drink plenty of water. Oral rehydrating solution is also helpful in dengue fever.
- In case of fever, use paracetamol syrup. Ibuprofen and aspirin should not be given in dengue fever.
- Eat all kinds of fruits.
- Do not eat oily food.
- If you are getting red rash on the body, then you can apply calamine lotion on the affected area.
If all of the above treatments do not ease the symptoms, it is important to consult your doctor. In such a situation, the doctor can advise the patient to get admitted. IV fluid given after admission. Dehydration in dengue can cause the patient to need more IV fluids. Antibiotics are given to prevent secondary infection.
After getting admitted, it is not necessary that platelet count will start to rise from first day itself. The patient is admitted to avoid the complications of the dengue fever. Platelet count starts to rise as the viral load start to decrease.
When a patient is admitted, his blood pressure has to be monitored. If the patient has bleeding from the nose as well as black stools, he may need a blood transfusion (platelets). In such a situation, the patient needs to be admitted to the ICU. In intensive care unit, the patient is monitored for vitals, with proper care patient can recover but if the patient is suffering from severe shock then some patients may succumb to life.
When the patient’s appetite begins to improve and the platelets in the blood return to the normal range, then the patient is discharged from the hospital.
How to prevent dengue in young children?
There is no vaccine available for dengue, so it is important to take care that you do not get dengue.
- Use mosquito repellant.
- Keeping the surrounding premises clean and tidy.
- Use mosquito nets.
- The windows should be meshed.
- Rain water should not be allowed to accumulate around the house.
- Throwing water out from an old tyres.
Frequently Asked questions
How many times one can get dengue infection in lifetime?
Dengue can be caused by four types dengue viruses, so dengue can occur four times in
How many days it takes to recover from dengue?
The symptoms of dengue last for five to seven days, so recovery from dengue can take weeks.
Who should beware of getting dengue fever ?
People who had dengue infection prior, who are younger or older or who have very low immunity are more likely to get dengue. So they should be careful that they do not get dengue.
Which organs are affected in dengue fever ?
Dengue mainly affects the liver but also affects the heart and lungs.
Does dengue patient need to be hospitalised?
If the patient’s blood pressure, platelets are low, then the patient need to be admitted.
Does Paracetamol Syrup reduce dengue fever?
Sometimes it does, but if there is a high fever, then patient should be sponged with water.
How dengue fever symptoms looks like ?
Dengue causes red rash and itching on the limbs and all over body.
Can a child under one year old get dengue?
Yes, dengue can cause hemorrhagic fever in infants.
What are the signs of recovery from dengue?
Decreased fever and increased appetite are signs of recovery.
Which fruit is better to eat in dengue?
Papaya, papaya leaf juice, kiwi fruit and dragon fruit is beneficial for increasing platelets.
Can a mother with dengue breastfeed her baby?
The spread of dengue is very less through mother’s milk but mother’s milk should be given because the benefits of mother’s milk are more.
Should I take bath in dengue?
Bathing keeps the body clean and the body temperature is also regular. So one can take bath in dengue.
How many platelets are dangerous in dengue?
Normally the number of platelets ranges from 1 lakh 50 thousand to 4 lakh 50 thousand but if that number goes below one lakh then it is a danger sign, this condition is called thrombocytopenia.
Does honey is good for dengue fever?
Honey is natural immune booster. so you can use honey but in limited quantity.
Can your taste buds die when you are suffering from dengue?
No. There is decrease in appetite and taste due to immune power is decreased due to decrease in platelets and white blood cells.
Why urine output is measured in dengue?
Urine output is one of the indicator of proper circulation in the body. So Good urine output is important for recover from dengue fever.
How many platelet transfusion given to dengue haemorrhagic fever patient ?
Every patient is different so it is totally depend on the clinical situation of the patient. So it is not countable. Some may require 1-2 bags, some may require 5-6 bags.
After reading all the above information, you must have understood that if dengue fever occurs in young children, care should be taken that the disease does not become serious and if treated in time, the cost of hospitalization can be saved.
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Ref – Mayoclinic