By – Prof.(Dr.) S. K. Jain, Dean Faculty of Medical Sciences, TMU
How High Is The Risk Of Severe Dengue, Possible Death?
The risk of severe dengue and potential death varies by individual and is impacted by several factors, including the individual’s age, overall health, and availability of medical care.
As a competent doctor, I can provide some broad advice:
Age: Severe dengue is more likely in young children and the elderly. Children are often at greater risk since their immune systems have not previously encountered the virus, while older persons may have compromised immune systems.
Secondary Infections: If you have previously been infected with one form of dengue virus and are exposed to a different type, you are more likely to develop severe dengue. This is referred to as secondary infection.
Health Status: Individuals with certain underlying health conditions, such as diabetes or chronic diseases, may be more susceptible to severe dengue.
Timely Medical Care: Early detection and proper medical care significantly reduce the risk of severe dengue. Prompt medical intervention can help manage the symptoms and prevent complications.
Access to Medical Facilities: In some regions, access to medical facilities and appropriate care may be limited, which can increase the risk of severe dengue going untreated.
Individuals with underlying health issues such as diabetes or chronic disorders may be more vulnerable to severe dengue.
Early Detection and Treatment: Early detection and treatment dramatically lower the risk of severe dengue. Immediate medical attention can help manage symptoms and prevent consequences.
Access to Medical Facilities: Access to medical facilities and adequate care may be limited in some places, increasing the chance of severe dengue being untreated.
Warning Signs of severe dengue
Dengue is a complex disease with multiple serotypes, and its management can be challenging. Scientific research and public health efforts are continually evolving to better understand and combat dengue. The complexity of the disease and the need for ongoing research can make it appear as if progress is slow.
Warning signs of severe dengue, also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome, can include- Severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, bleeding gums or nosebleeds, blood in urine, stool, or vomit, restlessness or irritability, fatigue or weakness, Rapid breathing, cold or clammy skin, difficulty in maintaining fluid intake, and sudden drop in blood pressure
Actions To Take Before It’s Too Late
Dengue fever is a viral illness transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, and there is no specific antiviral treatment for it. However, the severity of dengue can vary, and there are steps you can take to manage and reduce its severity:
Seek Medical Attention: If you suspect you have dengue or have been diagnosed with it, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately. Early diagnosis and proper medical care can make a significant difference in reducing the severity of the illness.
Stay Hydrated: Dengue fever can cause dehydration due to fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, oral rehydration solutions, and clear soups, to stay hydrated. Severe dehydration can lead to complications, so monitor your fluid intake closely.
Rest: Get plenty of rest to help your body recover and strengthen its immune response.
Pain and Fever Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) can help reduce fever and alleviate pain. Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or aspirin, as they can increase the risk of bleeding in some cases.
Monitor for Warning Signs: Some individuals with dengue may develop severe dengue (also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever or dengue shock syndrome), which can be life-threatening. Watch for warning signs like severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums, and fatigue. If you or someone you know experiences these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
Mosquito Avoidance: To prevent further transmission of the virus, stay indoors and use mosquito nets, screens, or mosquito repellent when necessary. Additionally, eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying containers that collect standing water.
Platelet Transfusion: In severe cases of dengue, where platelet counts drop significantly and there is a risk of bleeding, healthcare providers may recommend platelet transfusions to prevent or treat bleeding complications.
Follow Medical Advice: Adhere to the treatment plan and medical advice provided by healthcare professionals. This may include monitoring blood counts, vital signs, and other parameters.
It’s important to note that dengue can be a serious illness, and complications can arise rapidly. Therefore, timely medical evaluation and appropriate care are crucial in managing the disease and reducing its severity. Prevention measures, such as controlling mosquito populations and avoiding mosquito bites, also play a vital role in reducing the spread of dengue.
Ways To Prevent Dengue In the First Place
Improving platelet count is important for individuals with conditions like thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) or for those recovering from certain illnesses or medical treatments that can lower platelet levels. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and personalized guidance.
However, here are some general tips that may help increase platelet count:
Incorporate Nutrient-Rich Foods: Eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Nutrients like vitamin B12, folate, iron, and vitamin K are essential for platelet production.
Papaya and Pomegranate: These fruits are known to help increase platelet count. They contain vitamins and minerals that support platelet production.
Leafy Greens: Foods like spinach and kale are high in vitamin K, which plays a role in blood clotting and platelet function.
Avoid Alcohol: Excessive alcohol consumption can inhibit platelet production, so it’s best to limit or avoid alcohol.
Hydration: Drink plenty of water to maintain proper blood volume and circulation. Dehydration can lead to decreased platelet count.
Exercise Regularly: Engaging in moderate, regular exercise can improve overall health and circulation, which may indirectly benefit platelet count.
Stress Management: Chronic stress can negatively impact the immune system and platelet production. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga to reduce stress.
Avoid Injury: Since low platelet counts can lead to easy bruising and bleeding, take precautions to prevent injuries. Use caution when handling sharp objects and avoid activities that pose a risk of injury.
Medications and Medical Treatments: If your low platelet count is due to an underlying medical condition or medication side effects, work with your healthcare provider to adjust your treatment plan.
Platelet Transfusion: In severe cases of thrombocytopenia or when there is a risk of bleeding, a healthcare provider may recommend a platelet transfusion to rapidly increase platelet levels.
Manage Underlying Conditions: Address and manage any underlying medical conditions that may be causing the low platelet count, such as autoimmune disorders, infections, or certain medications.
Medical Monitoring: Regularly monitor your platelet levels with your healthcare provider to track progress and adjust treatment as needed. It’s crucial to remember that increasing platelet count may take time, and the approach should be tailored to your specific medical condition and needs. Always follow your healthcare provider’s guidance and recommendations to ensure your safety and well-being.