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Infectious Diseases 2023

Main symptoms of dengue (clássica and hemorrhagicágica)

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Main symptoms of dengue (clássica and hemorrhagicágica)
Main symptoms of dengue (clássica and hemorrhagicágica)

The main symptom of dengue is high fever that comes on suddenly and lasts about 2 to 7 days. In addition to fever, other symptoms such as a feeling of general malaise, nausea, vomiting, headache, excessive tiredness and red spots on the skin, for example, may be noticed.

The symptoms of dengue are not very specific, that is, they can be confused with the symptoms of other diseases such as flu, cold, malaria or meningitis, for example. However, it is important to keep an eye on the evolution of symptoms and consult a doctor if dengue is suspected, so that it is possible to conclude the diagnosis and start the most appropriate treatment.

Dengue is a disease caused by a virus that can be transmitted to people through the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. See how to identify the dengue mosquito.

How to identify dengue symptoms

To identify if the symptoms you are experiencing are really dengue, please answer the questions:

  1. 1.Fever above 39º C Yes No
  2. 2. Nausea or vomiting Yes No
  3. 3.Constant headache Yes No
  4. 4.Pain in the back of the eyes Yes No
  5. 5.Red spots on the skin, all over the body Yes No
  6. 6.Excessive fatigue for no apparent reason Yes No
  7. 7.Pain in joints and bones Yes No
  8. 8.Bleeding from nose, eyes or gums Yes No
  9. 9.Pink, red or brown urine Yes No


Make an appointment with a specialist

In case of suspected dengue, you should drink plenty of fluids and go to the doctor to confirm the infection. In this case, the only medication that can be taken is paracetamol or dipyrone to relieve pain and fever, as aspirin can cause bleeding.

Check out the complete list of indicated and contraindicated remedies to relieve the symptoms of dengue.

Classic dengue symptoms

The symptoms of classic dengue are similar to those of Zika, but they are usually more intense and last about 7 to 15 days, while Zika usually disappears in up to 1 week. However, in any of the cases, it is important to go to the doctor so that he can make the proper diagnosis of the disease and give guidance on the treatment to be followed.

Symptoms of classic dengue usually include:

High fever

High fever starts suddenly and the body temperature is around 39 to 40ºC. Fever means that the body is starting to fight the virus by producing antibodies, so it is important to start resting so that the body's energies are focused on eliminating the virus.

How to relieve: medication should be used to regulate fever, such as paracetamol or dipyrone, preferably indicated by the doctor.In addition, it can also help to put damp cloths on the forehead, back of the neck and under the armpits or to take slightly cold showers, to lower the body temperature.

Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting are other common symptoms of dengue, which occur due to the general malaise caused by the disease, which also causes a lack of appetite, especially when faced with strong smells.

How to relieve: you should only consume small amounts of food at a time, avoiding eating them too hot or too cold, as they worsen the discomfort. In addition, foods that are easy to chew and digest should be preferred, avoiding excess s alt, pepper and seasonings in general.

Headache and eye pain

Headache usually affects mainly the eye region and tends to get worse with movement and eye strain.

How to relieve: take pain relievers such as acetaminophen or dipyrone, place warm water compresses on your forehead, or drink ginger, fennel, lavender, or chamomile teas. Check out the complete list of teas for dengue.

Red spots on the skin

The red spots are similar to measles, but appear mainly on the chest and arms. The disease can be confirmed through the loop test, in which red spots appear on the skin after tying a thread to the finger.

At the medical center, the noose test can differentiate the symptoms of dengue and Zika, because in dengue, more red spots form in the area evaluated by the doctor. See more about how the loop proof is done.

How to relieve: Dengue spots disappear with the course of treatment and, therefore, do not need specific treatment. However, it is important to avoid hitting the skin as it can cause bleeding.

Disease and extreme tiredness

Due to the fight to fight the virus, the body spends more energy and causes the feeling of extreme tiredness. In addition, as the patient normally starts to eat poorly during the illness, the body becomes even weaker and tired.

How to relieve: rest as much as possible, drink plenty of water to facilitate the elimination of the virus and avoid going to work, class or activities that require efforts at home.

Abdominal, bone and joint pain

Abdominal pain occurs mainly in children, while bone and joint pain usually affects all patients. In addition to pain, the affected region may also be slightly swollen and reddened.

How to relieve: use medications such as acetaminophen or dipyrone to relieve pain and place cold compresses on the area to help deflate the joints.

Symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever

Symptoms can appear up to 3 days after symptoms of classic dengue and include:

  • Bleeding from nose, gums or eyes;
  • Persistent vomiting;
  • Blood urine;
  • Agitation and drowsiness;
  • Confusion.

In addition to these symptoms, in some cases, it is also possible to develop other signs such as moist, pale and cold skin, as well as a decrease in blood pressure.

What to do if you suspect dengue hemorrhagic fever: you should immediately go to the hospital to receive proper care, because this is a serious situation that can lead to death if not properly treated in the hospital environment.

How the treatment is done

Dengue treatment is done with analgesics and antipyretics, under medical guidance, such as paracetamol or dipyrone to relieve symptoms. You should not take any acetylsalicylic acid-based medication, such as aspirin or ASA, because they can cause bleeding. To complete the treatment, rest and fluid intake are also recommended, but the treatment of dengue hemorrhagic fever must be done in the hospital, with the use of medication and, if necessary, platelet transfusion.

However, in the most serious cases, which require hospitalization, dengue can complicate, and dehydration, liver, blood, heart or respiratory problems can be observed. Learn more about the main complications of dengue.

Symptoms of dengue in babies

In babies and children it can be more difficult to differentiate this disease from other common infections, so if the baby has a sudden high fever, he should be taken to the nearest he alth post or pediatrician, so that he can request an exam of blood and indicate the treatment that may include taking paracetamol or dipyrone.

Symptoms in babies can be:

  • High fever, 39 or 40ºC;
  • Prostration or irritability;
  • Lack of appetite;
  • Diarrhea and vomiting.

What to do if you suspect that the baby is sick: you should take the baby to the pediatrician, to the he alth center or Emergency Care Unit - UPA so that the disease is diagnosed by a doctor.

Treatment is usually done at home, giving the baby or child plenty of fluids, such as water, tea and juices. In addition, it is important to offer food that is easy to digest, such as cooked vegetables and fruits, and cooked chicken or fish. However, the child may also not have symptoms, making diagnosis difficult. See how to know if your baby has dengue and the warning signs.

Learn everything you can do to avoid being bitten by Aedes aegypti:

To avoid and prevent dengue, it is very important to turn all the bottles upside down, put soil in the plant dishes or keep the backyard free of standing water puddles, as these are great environments for development of mosquito larvae. In addition, natural repellents can be used to avoid the bite of the dengue mosquito. Check out the natural repellents against the dengue mosquito that can be prepared at home.

Difference between dengue and COVID-19

Dengue and COVID-19 are two very different infections, but they can cause relatively similar symptoms, such as general malaise, body ache, fever, excessive tiredness or headache.

Still, there are some symptoms that can help differentiate the type of infection:

Dengue COVID-19
Red spots Normally yes, especially on the trunk and arms. Rarely.
Sore throat No. May have in some cases.
Cough No. It has, being mostly dry.
Shortness of breath Rarely. Sometimes, especially in the most severe cases.
Joint pain Often. Rarely.
Loss of smell and/or taste No. May have in some cases.

The best way to confirm what type of infection you have is to consult a general practitioner for blood and respiratory secretion tests, mainly to confirm or rule out the diagnosis of COVID-19. See the main tests that identify the infection by COVID-19.

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