All you need to know about dengue spread, prevention and treatment

  • Sanchita Sharma, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Jul 13, 2016 11:39 IST
The symptoms of dengue start showing within five to six days after you’re bitten by an infected mosquito. (Shutterstock)

Dengue is a viral infection spread by the bite of the aedes aegypti mosquito. It is not communicable: it does not spread directly from person to person.

Dengue fever lasts for seven to 10 days. Most people recover in a week to 10 days by having paracetamol for fever and pain and drinking lots of fluids to prevent dehydration.


The symptoms start showing within five to six days after you’re bitten by an infected mosquito. Common symptoms include:

•High fever (<103 degrees Fahrenheit)

•Severe headache

•Pain behind the eyes

•Joint and muscle pain

•Nausea and vomiting

•Abdominal cramps

•Bleeding from the gums, nose or ears


Read: 65% dengue patients last year were school kids and office goers


If you suspect you have dengue, you need to get two tests done.

Confirmatory test: Get the NS1 Elisa-based antigen test done after three days of developing fever with symptoms of body ache, headache or nausea.

Platelet count: Platelets help the blood clot and stop bleeding. Very low levels – the normal range is between 150,000 and 450,000 platelets per microlitre of blood – lead to internal bleeding and shock, which results in death from multi-organ failure.

•Less than 150,000: Get a platelet count done once in two days

•Less than 100,000: A platelet count must be done once a day

•Less than 60,000: A platelet count should be done twice a day. Also a daily test is needed if the rate of drop is 50% or more within 224 hours.

•Less than 30,000 or if you’re bleeding: It’s a medical emergency, you need hospital admission.

•Less than 10,000: Blood transfusion may be needed.

Red flags

Dengue fever lasts for seven to 10 days in most cases. (Shutterstock)

You need emergency hospital admission if you have:

•Platelets count less than 30,000

•Bleeding from the gums, nose, ears or blood in the stool or urine

•Severe abdominal pain

•Persistent vomiting

•Breathing difficulty

•Rash, read spots on abdomen, arms


•Dengue has no cure, the treatment is symptomatic.

•Sanofi’s Dengvaxia vaccine against all four dengue strains available globally, but still needs additional clinical studies before being marketed in India.

•Platelet transfusion may be needed if platelets fall below 10,000 platelets per microlitre of blood.

Protecting yourself

•Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs.

•Use mosquito repellent sprays, creams, coils, mats or liquids to drive away mosquitoes and use screens on doors and windows.

•Wear loose clothes that cover your arms and legs.

•Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that spreads dengue infection, breeds in fresh water that collects in vases, birdbaths, old tyres, containers, potholes etc. Prevent mosquito breeding by keeping your home and surroundings dry.

Delhi count

2016 (till July 9): 39 cases, no deaths

2015: 15,867 cases, 60 deaths

2014: 995 cases, three deaths

2013: 5,574 cases, six deaths

2012: 2,093 cases, four deaths

2011: 1,131 cases, eight deaths

2010: 6,259 cases, eight deaths

Read: Eight dengue cases in one week in Delhi

India count

2016 (till June 28): 8,307 cases, 10 deaths

2015: 99,913 cases, 220 deaths

2014: 40,571 cases, 137 deaths

2013: 75,808 cases, 193 deaths

2012: 50,222 cases, 242 deaths

2011: 18,860 cases, 169 deaths

2010: 28,292 cases, 110 deaths

Source: National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme

Follow @htlifeandstyle for more.

also read

Calcium-distributing hormone could be key to osteoporosis treatment
Show comments