What are the warning signs of dengue?

Dengue fever can vary in severity, and while many cases are mild and self-limiting, some can progress to severe forms of the disease. Recognizing the warning signs of dengue is crucial for seeking timely medical attention, as severe dengue can be life-threatening. Here are the warning signs of dengue:

  1. Severe Abdominal Pain: Persistent severe abdominal pain or tenderness can be a warning sign of severe dengue. This can be a sign of dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) or dengue shock syndrome (DSS).
  2. Persistent Vomiting: Repeated vomiting, especially if it is accompanied by blood, is a concerning sign. Vomiting can lead to dehydration, which is a common complication of dengue.
  3. Bleeding: Any type of bleeding, such as nosebleeds, gum bleeding, easy bruising, or the appearance of blood in vomit or stools, should be taken seriously. Hemorrhagic symptoms are characteristic of DHF.
  4. Severe Fatigue or Restlessness: Extreme tiredness or restlessness can be an indicator of severe dengue.
  5. Change in Mental State: Confusion, irritability, or changes in consciousness can occur in severe cases of dengue.
  6. Difficulty in Breathing: Rapid breathing or shortness of breath can be a sign of fluid accumulation in the lungs, which can occur in severe dengue.
  7. Cold or Clammy Skin: Cold and clammy skin, along with a weak and rapid pulse, can be a sign of shock, which is associated with dengue shock syndrome (DSS).
  8. Decreasing Platelet Count: A significant drop in platelet count (thrombocytopenia) is a common feature of severe dengue. However, it’s important to note that mild decreases in platelet count can occur in less severe cases as well.
  9. Persistent High Fever: While a high fever is a common symptom of dengue, if it persists beyond the initial few days and is accompanied by other warning signs, it should be evaluated.
  10. Rapid Worsening of Symptoms: If a person with dengue fever initially appears to be improving but then suddenly worsens, this is a concerning sign.

It’s important to remember that not everyone with dengue fever will develop severe symptoms or warning signs. However, if you or someone you know experiences any of these warning signs, it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Early detection and appropriate medical care can significantly improve the outcome of severe dengue cases.

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