• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Signs and Symptoms of Dengue Fever in Kids

Dengue fever is a viral disease which is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. According to the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme, India had more than 67000 cases of dengue fever along with 48 deaths in the year 2019.

It is an endemic disease which is active in different parts of the country.

It is caused by the bite of a mosquito which contains viruses which belong to the Flaviviridae family. These mosquitoes thrive when there is water logging in the form of puddles, containers and water tanks. Improper sanitation and garbage disposal facilities also contribute to the transmission of the disease. Dengue fever usually has a cycle of 5 to 14 days. 

Dengue Fever Symptoms in Kids

The symptoms of dengue in kids that are of more than one year old are similar to adults. The following symptoms can be observed in kids suffering from dengue.

●High Fever: The fever is more than 39°C in most cases. The onset of the fever is sudden.

Credits: Pexels Caption: A high fever is the most common symptom of dengue.

●Fatigue: Fatigue is a common symptom of dengue. In kids, you can check for fatigue by noticing the energy levels. Continuous tiredness and not wanting to do physical tasks can be signs of fatigue.

●Skin Rash: The skin rash associated with dengue fever is red and is first observed on the limbs and chest.

●Swollen Glands: The lymph nodes which are present in the neck are swollen.

●Joint and Muscle Pain: There can be severe pain in joints and muscles.

●Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of dengue fever.

●Bleeding Gums: Sudden bleeding in gums, especially in individuals who do not suffer from dental problems, is a symptom of dengue fever.

●Mild Bleeding: Mild bleeding can occur through the nose, and internally. Internal bleeding is characterized by the formation of bruises on the skin.

Dengue Symptoms in Infants

It is difficult to notice symptoms in infants as compared to individuals in other age groups. In addition to a high fever, look out for the following signs in infants:

●Reduction in urine output: Check the frequency of urination of an infant. If there is no urine output for 6 hours, it could be a symptom of dengue.

●Bleeding: Bleeding can occur through the nose, gums and in the abdomen. To watch out for abdominal bleeding you have to monitor the stool and vomits of an infant. Abdominal bleeding persists in the form of coffee-coloured patches in the vomit whereas in the stool it is blackish. Bleeding a sign of a serious condition.

●Sweating: Abnormal sweating can be an alarming sign in an infant. If you notice wet clothes then that is a sign of extreme sweating.

●Shivering: Shivering can be a sign of dengue fever. It is often accompanied by cold hands and feet.

●Not Accepting Oral Fluids: Infants are usually fed in the form of oral fluids. If the infant is not accepting oral fluids or there is a decrease in the overall food intake it can be an alarm sign.

●Irritability and Crying: Irritability and crying can be a sign of pain being suffered by the infant. Abdominal pain is a common symptom of dengue fever. Infants usually express feeling pain through an increase in irritability and excessive crying.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis of dengue is done through to main tests.

●NS1 Antigen Tests: The NS1 antigen tests identify the presence of dengue non-structural protein which is consistent with dengue fever.

●Dengue Platelet Count Test: Dengue fever decreases the number of platelets that are present in the blood. This decrease is significant and is used as an identification factor in determining the presence of the dengue virus. The decrease in platelets can be fatal.

Credits: Pexels Caption: NS1 antigen tests are done to confirm the presence of dengue.

There is no cure or vaccine for dengue fever. The treatment focuses on reducing fever through antipyretics and managing pain through analgesic drugs. In extreme cases with extremely low platelet counts, platelets are administered.

Prevention of Dengue

The prevention of dengue focuses on decreasing insect bites as dengue can only be spread through mosquito bites. The following ways can be used to prevent dengue:

●Insect Repellants: Various insect repellants are available which are applied on the skin. These repellants ensure that mosquitos and other insects do not bite the person. They are available in liquid, spray, gel and cream forms.

●Long-Sleeved Clothing: Long-sleeved clothing reduces the target area a mosquito has to bite an individual. This can be very helpful in reducing the number of mosquito bites.

●Prevent Water Logging: Dengue causing mosquitoes to thrive in waterlogged places. The reduction in these reduces the number of mosquitoes that are present near you. The less the mosquitoes the lower the chances of getting bit.

Credits: Pexels Caption: Mosquitoes thrive in puddles of water.

●Insecticides: Insecticides are agents which can kill insects. Insecticides are available in various forms. The most common forms include using an insecticide liquid which can be sprayed at places. This liquid kills the mosquitoes present.

Another popular method is using mosquito killing machines which attract them. The mosquitoes are killed upon contact.

Takeaway

Dengue is a serious but preventable condition. The focus should be on preventing mosquito bites so that the transmission does not occur. If you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms then you should seek medical help. The doctor will prescribe you supplemental therapy and ensure that the disease is managed.

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