37% of dengue patients suffer from a more serious form

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Rawalpindi:The incidence of Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever and Dengue Shock Syndrome, more fatal forms of the infection is recording an alarming increase this year among patients of dengue fever being tested positive as over 37 per cent of all patients tested positive so far for dengue fever here at the three teaching hospitals in town suffered either from DHF or DSS.

Data collected has revealed that till November 15 this year, a total of 11820 confirmed patients of dengue fever reported at the allied hospitals including Holy Family Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital and District Headquarters Hospital of which as many as 4196 suffered from DHF while 255 developed DSS.

During the on-going most severe outbreak of dengue fever, as many as 37.64 percents of all dengue fever patients contracted the more fatal forms of the infection due to which the death toll due to the infection remained much higher as compared to the outbreaks in past years. The infection has claimed 41 lives at the allied hospitals so far this year.

The DHF is characterized by bleeding from gums or skin while DSS, a rare complication of dengue fever and a more fatal form of the infection occurs most often in small children and elderly adults usually by day 3-5 of the fever. Generally, uncontrolled bleeding distinguishes DSS from uncomplicated dengue fever.

In DSS, the liver is often enlarged. Patients can have a rapid onset of marked drowsiness, lethargy or restlessness or the presence of shock as manifested by a rapid and weak pulse, low blood pressure and cold clammy skin. DSS can be a mortal illness and requires rapid and careful in-hospital management with assiduous correction and replacement of fluid, electrolytes, plasma and sometimes, fresh blood and or platelet transfusions. Mortality from DSS ranges from five to 30 percent in untreated native populations and the highest risk is to infants under one year.

Data reveals that from August 14 to date, the allied hospitals confirmed 11900 patients for dengue fever and one in every three confirmed patients contracted DHF that is alarming. Nearly 2.2 percent of all confirmed patients had suffered from dengue shock syndrome.

In allied hospitals, at HFH and BBH, the majority of DSS patients received intensive care treatment at high dependency units. According to many health experts, dengue shock can be prevented by increasing fluid intake from the first day of diagnosis.

The warning signs of DHF and DSS are low blood pressure, excessive sleep, fever not responding to treatment, jaundice or yellow discoloration of skin, blackout dizziness, raised pulse up to 130 beats per minute, palpitations, decreased urination.

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