Dengue Vs. Flu Fever & all about it...
MD - Physician
Internal Medicine Specialist,
7 years experience
A lot of patients come to me asking for advice on how to treat fever,how they contact it, and if Dengue, then is it fatal? A lot of time & money is lost due to the employees taking leaves on account of Viral Illness. It is the number one most common illness worldwide, and yet it cannot be eradicated, why?
⦁ Spread:Fever or flu or infuenza, in most cases is a communicable illness spread by water or airborne viruses called Hemophilus Influenzae a & b. From the name itself they love(-philus) blood(hemo-). Hence they need a body to attach to where they grow & thrive. They are found in air & droplets too, from where they are inhaled by us and then spread too, while sneezing or breathing close to any infected person.
⦁ The Flu Virus: By structure, viruses are a organism that can change their morphology as & when they desire. And the flu virus does this every 4-5 months, or every season change. Hence the immunity that the body develops while recovering from the previous season's flu attack is lost by the time the season changes again because the body does not recognize the new changed structure of the virus.
⦁ Flu vaccine: Hence the Flu vaccination is different every 6 month and must be taken every 6 months(with every new season) since it needs to be updated to immunize you to the latest viral strains. But even with the vaccine it offers you only 60-70% protection, since it is biologically impossible to predict the variations the virus undergoes and produce a response to it accordingly.
⦁ Dengue Virus: As with the case of the flu virus, the Dengue virus also loves blood, particularly Platelets. So the virus needs blood to live in, and flourish, and whenever the virus attacks, it affiliates to the platelets(cells which cause clotting and stop any bleeding), because they share the same morphology. Hence the Dengue virus penetrates the platelets, causing them to burst and die eventually.
⦁ Fever: (means high temperature> 37.5'c or 98.5'F)This is the response produced by the body to the flu virus. It means the White Blood Cells(cells that fight infections) in your body are activated and running around to fight a war with the Flu or Dengue Virus. It produces multiple other changes like shivering, feeling cold, generation of heat to make the virus unable to thrive, to ward off the virus.
⦁ Symptoms: Body pains, colds, sore throat, cough is usually suggestive of a Flu virus, as it damages/infects the passage where it enters from (nose, throat). However a fever with severe pain, described as deep/bone pain with red skin spots (rashes) all over the body, headache and vomiting can sometimes measure upto be a Dengue virus, or might even be just a flu virus.
⦁ Labs: When should you test yourself in fever? Though blood tests sometimes come negative for Dengue symptomatic patients, any patient with fever more than 2-3 days must be tested for a blood count & Dengue. But these can be falsely negative if done in the first 1-2 days of the illness, and sometimes even when the patient seems symptomatic of Dengue symptoms.
⦁ Treatment: The most common treatment any Physician would advise would be to take a Paracetamol tablets (500mg, 650mg, four times upto 1g thrice daily for adults), depending your fever and age. This is a symptomatic treatment for fever and also helps in all the body pains.In Dengue usually a patient tends to have thrombocytopenia(fall in platelets), hence needs monitoring closely for this, and if required a blood transfusion at later stages as platelets drop. A drop in platelets would mean inadequecy of the body to deal with bleeding, and hence patients need to be closely monitored. As the heat in the body (fever) causes body's water to lose, it may cause extreme lethargy, weakness and dizziness. This important issue must be solved by giving lots of (extra) water to the patient, either orally or in the form of drips (IV). Preparing water with a sachet of ORS (Electral powder) can enhance the body's natural composition of water better and help in speedy recovery.
Take care and do get in touch with me at www.healthist.io where you can video call and consult from anywhere and get an opinion on your health concerns. Try it for free, use doctor code 157.
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