Clinical Symptoms, Diagnosis and Management

Dengue is characterized by sudden onset fever of 3-5 days, intense headache, muscle and joint pain, retro-orbital pain, anorexia, GI disturbances and rash. After an infective bite, symptoms appear approximately between 4 to 7 days (range of 3-14). DHF is caused by the same viruses and complicated by increased vascular permeability, hypovolaemia and abnormal blood clotting mechanisms, with the patients develop abdominal pain, vomiting, or bleeding. Dengue fever can affect infants, young children and adults while DHF is a potentially lethal complication. Early clinical diagnosis and careful clinical management by experienced physicians and nurses increase survival of patients. There are no specific antiviral medicines for dengue. It is important to maintain hydration. Use of acetylsalicylic acid (e.g. aspirin) and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Ibuprofen) is not recommended. Several candidates of vaccines are currently under trial.