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Dengue Treatment - Procedure, Cost And Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Dengue fever is caused by a virus that is transmitted from a mosquito bite. The fever can be caused by any one of the five serotypes of the virus, so it is possible for a person to be affected with this disease multiple times. It can affect anybody but has a tendency to be severe in people with a weak immune system.

A person may contract dengue virus when he/she is bitten by a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person. The virus is mosquito-borne, and not contagious, meaning that it does not spread from person to person. The symptoms of the disease can come into notice after a week after you have been bitten by the infected mosquito. Body rashes, high fever, intense headache, a feeling of nausea or vomiting are some of the indications that you may be suffering from dengue fever.

If a patient has severe symptoms, a doctor generally will order a complete blood test to confirm the disease before proceeding with the treatment.

In certain cases, a patient may be diagnosed with dengue hemorrhagic fever after the initial fever. This severe form of fever can bring in many complications like severe bleeding, dehydration, organ damage and at times be life threatening.

How is the treatment done?

Dengue, being a virus, comes with no specific antibiotics or treatment. However, your doctor may advise you the following ways to take care of yourself if you are diagnosed with dengue fever:

  • Painkillers and medicines for reducing the fever
  • It is better to avoid medicines with aspirin, as it can sometimes worsen the bleeding
  • Drinking lots of fluids to avoid dehydration
  • Your vital signs will be closely monitored between the 2nd and the 7th day of your fever. The dengue virus promotes suppressing your bone marrow. The suppression causes a deficiency in your blood cells as the bone marrow is the place where your blood cells are manufactured. This leads to low platelet count. Therefore, monitoring your platelet count is of vital importance.
  • A patient will require a platelet transfusion if the count drops below 20,000
  • In the case of a severe dengue fever, you may need to be admitted to the hospital. You may need intravenous (IV) fluid or electrolyte replacement.
  • If you are diagnosed with dengue hemorrhagic fever, your doctor will monitor you for the first few days as you can experience dengue shock syndrome
  • Complete bed rest is recommended to the patient

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A person may require undergoing a dengue test for confirmation and start treatment for dengue if he/she has the following symptoms:

  • Symptoms of a headache, chills or an intense pain in the back of your eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ache in the lower back
  • Rise in body temperature, as high as 104 degrees, with low blood pressure. The body temperature can suddenly drop down to normal with abundant sweating.
  • Rashes in the body, swelling of the palms and the soles

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

There are no such conditions where a person should not be provided with dengue treatment if he/she is diagnosed with the virus. Dengue should be treated at once as it can lead to severe health complications if neglected.

Are there any side effects?

There are no side effects of dengue treatment as such. The fever itself makes the person very weak. Joint and muscular pain are the common side effects of the fever. If the patient has to be admitted to the hospital due to the severity of his/her condition, the treatment can make the patient feel weak or nauseated. He/ She may require bed rest for a few days before resuming daily activities.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

The post treatment guidelines after a dengue treatment include:

  • Using mosquito repellents, even if you are indoors
  • Ensure that you drink ample amount of fluids
  • Eat foods that are light, non-spicy and can be easily digested. You must avoid oily food.
  • Rest is the most important requirement for a person recuperating from dengue fever
  • Keep a track of your platelet count
  • In case you face any major issues, consult the doctor at once

How long does it take to recover?

Most people suffering from dengue can recover within two weeks after being diagnosed and treated. In some cases, people may take a few more days to resume their normal activities. Some adults may continue feeling tired or depressed for several weeks after recovering from the illness.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

The treatment of dengue fever would cost from Rs. 22,000 to Rs. 75,000, depending upon the severity of your condition.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

Once the diagnosis is done and timely treatment provided, a person can be cured completely of the illness. This does not necessarily mean that the person cannot be diagnosed with dengue once again. There are five serotypes of the virus, so there is no guarantee that you cannot have dengue fever again if you were already diagnosed once.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

At present, there is no specific alternative for treating dengue fever. You will be recommended painkillers for your pain and fever. You can drink lots of water to prevent dehydration or go for an intravenous therapy to keep the body hydrated.

Safety: High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Low Recovery Time: Medium Price Range: Rs. 22,000 - Rs. 75,000

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