Dengue fever, dengue test, diet and preventive measures

Dengue fever is a viral infection caused by mosquitos that carry the dengue virus. It does not spread from person to person.

Dengue fever is spread mainly through the bite of an infected mosquito of Ades Species: Ades aegypti and Ades albopictus, which are mostly found in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world.

The mosquitos lay eggs near stagnant water in containers that hold water like buckets, bowls, animal dishes, flower pots, etc. The mosquito becomes infected when it bites to a person infected with dengue virus in their blood and can spread the virus to other people through the bite. The mosquitos can bite day and night.

Around 400 million people worldwide suffer from Dengue fever. Dengue fever is common in more than 100 countries and about 40% of the world’s population are at higher risk of dengue fever

Symptoms of Dengue fever

The symptoms of Dengue fever usually arise 4 to 6 days after infection and it goes up to 10 days. The symptoms may include:

  1. Sudden high fever
  2. Nausea
  3. Vomiting (at least 3 times in 24 hours)
  4. Fatigue
  5. Rashes on the skin
  6. Swollen glands
  7. Severe Headaches
  8. Pain behind eyes
  9. Join and muscle pain

In dengue, Fever subsides in 4-5 days and Low platelet count usually persists for 5-7 days after fever subsides. Thereafter, platelet count usually starts recovering gradually

Sometimes Dengue fever becomes severe and fatal also known as Dengue hemorrhagic fever that shows the following symptoms:

  1. Bleeding (Nose bleeds and bleeding gums)
  2. Blood in the urine and stools
  3. Continuous Vomiting
  4. Restlessness
  5. Severe Abdominal pain
  6. Cold and clammy skin

Severe dengue fever could result in internal bleeding, shock, and even death

Diagnosis of Dengue Fever- Dengue test

The dengue virus is detected through your blood. Your healthcare provider will ask you to undergo a blood test. In the early onset of the symptoms, your doctors may recommend for CBC (Complete Blood Count), However, CBC is a non- specific test as it does not confirm the dengue virus. Generally, In dengue, CBC shows low platelet counts and low white blood cell count. The most common test recommended for dengue fever is NS1 Antigen, Dengue IgM, and Dengue IGG.

 1. Dengue NS1 Antigen

NS1 antigen test detects the protein that is secreted into the blood during dengue fever. NS1 antigen test is used to diagnose the early infection. The antigen is detectable in the serum within 1-2 days of infection and is rarely detectable after 9 days of symptom onset. It is usually detected before IgM and IgG for the confirmation of dengue fever.

A positive result indicates the presence of a dengue virus and a negative result shows the absence of dengue virus. However, the result shows negative if the sample is collected within 24 hrs. of infection and after 9 days of symptoms.

 2. Dengue Specific Immunoglobulin M (IgM) test

This test looks for the dengue specific antibody IgM in the blood, that appears in the early course of the disease (acute condition). The doctor may advise undergoing an IgM test if you are experiencing dengue symptoms for more than a week.

 3. Dengue Specific Immunoglobulin G (IgG) test

This test looks for the dengue specific antibody IgM in the blood, that appears in the later course of the disease. The level of antibody IgG increases slowly and it increases 6 to 10 days after the infection and can remain in the blood for around 90 days or for the rest of your life. This test can be done even after 15 days as these antibodies can be detected in the blood several months after infection.

Treatment of Dengue fever

However, there is no specific medicine to cure dengue fever, the treatment may be done according to the symptoms.

While recovering from dengue fever, notice your signs and symptoms of dehydration. Call your doctor if you feel any of the following symptoms:

  • Decreased urination
  • Dry mouth or lips
  • Lethargy or confusion

If you have severe dengue fever, you may need:

  • Supportive care in a hospital
  • Intravenous (IV) fluid and electrolyte replacement
  • Blood pressure monitoring
  • Transfusion to replace blood loss

There is no specific cure for dengue fever to date. Your doctor may suggest taking plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration from vomiting and high fever

Dengue Preventive Measures

Researchers and scientists are still looking to find a specific cure for dengue fever. There is no approved vaccine for dengue fever so far. However, prevention is the best way to protect yourself from dengue fever. Many health organizations recommend the following preventive measures to keep yourself safe from mosquitoes that cause dengue fever:

  • Wear long pants and long-sleeve shirts
  • Take care of your personal hygiene
  • Use hand sanitizers
  • Keep water covered all the times
  • Make sure windows and doors are closed
  • Avoid areas with stagnant water
  • Avoid being outside at dawn, dusk, and evening
  • Use a mosquito repellent with at least 10 % concentration of DEET (diethyltoluamide)
  • Remove excess water from the container such as flower pots and change the water at regular intervals
  • Use mosquito traps and nets treated with insecticide while sleeping

Best diet to recover from dengue fever

Dengue affects a huge number of people. The people are suggested to follow the dengue preventive measures to prevent its spread. The people who suffer from dengue fever are advised to take proper diet. Your diet is the best way that will help you to recover from dengue. Taking proper diet for dengue helps to increase platelet count and strengthen your immune system to fight with the dengue virus. Here are some of the most preferred healthy diets for dengue.


Dengue fever, dengue test, diet and preventive measures

Orange is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and is regarded as one of the best immune booster food. The juice of oranges helps to combat the dengue virus and eliminate the virus.


Dengue fever, dengue test, diet and preventive measures

Turmeric has been used for ages as an antiseptic purpose. The use of turmeric with milk can help you boost your immune system and eliminate the dengue virus.

Coconut Water

Dengue fever, dengue test, diet and preventive measures

Dengue results in dehydration. So coconut water is an important source to cover the loss of fluids in the body. Coconut water is loaded with nutrients and electrolytes.

Papaya Leaves

Dengue fever, dengue test, diet and preventive measures


Several studies have found that papaya leaves are important for fighting many diseases. In dengue, platelet count drops below the normal and so it is advised to consume the juice of papaya leaves which can elevate platelet counts.


Dengue fever, dengue test, diet and preventive measures

Pomegranate is loaded with minerals and essential nutrients that provide energy to the body which can lower the feeling of fatigue and exhaustion. Pomegranate is rich in iron, which is beneficial for the blood and also maintains normal platelet count.


Dengue fever, dengue test, diet and preventive measures

Spinach is also an immune booster food that boosts the immune system and is an effective way to elevate platelet count.


Dengue fever, dengue test, diet and preventive measures

Broccoli is rich in minerals and antioxidants. It is also a good source of Vitamin K which helps in regenerating platelets. So when the platelet count falls in dengue patients broccoli can be added to the diet to elevate platelet count.

Nuts and Almonds

Dengue fever, dengue test, diet and preventive measures

Nuts and almonds are good sources of protein. Proteins are important for normal platelet count and thus help in the fast recovery from dengue.

Food to avoid- Spicy food, Caffeine, carbonated drinks, non-vegetarian foods, oily and fried foods, and food high in fats

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