Dengue fever sufferers explain what happens when you have the deadly illness

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun25,2024

As Europe is currently battling a rise in cases of dengue fever cases, with an invasive mosquito species discovered in 13 EU countries, a victim has described what the illness feels like – and how hard it can be to spot it.

Reddit user u/divernire_10 reveals he contracted the bone-breaking disease in 2019, and that it was a “weird” experience, as he felt relatively fine until he was diagnosed.

“The day before the evening I started getting worse, I was feeling fatigued, thought I just over worked today”, they wrote. “The same day around midnight, I was chills. But no fever.

“In the morning too, I had no fever at all but my BP [blood pressure] was so low, my head was spinning like crazy. Next day I felt better, after eating and drinking water well. Still no fever but had low BP. Next day much better, but still the low BP continued.

“And then I went to the hospital and was tested positive for dengue.”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently issued a warning that almost half of the world’s population is now at risk of contracting dengue fever, with an estimated 100-400 million infections each year. According to The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), climate change may be creating favourable conditions for the tiger mosquito, which is believed to be spreading the disease.

Severe dengue symptoms often appear after the fever has subsided. Individuals exhibiting these severe symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.

“My parents forced me to go to the hospital because I thought I was getting better”, the Reddit user said. “Even when my platelet count was dropping in the hospital, I still felt almost fine. Had no fever the whole time at all.

“That is the reason why I’m writing this. You may feel like it’s nothing. You may think it’s some fatigue and low BP and you wait days to get it checked. Having mild to no fever at all makes you think it’s not serious.”

There is no specific treatment for dengue fever, but early detection and access to appropriate medical care can significantly reduce fatality rates from severe dengue.

The focus in treatment mainly relies on managing pain symptoms, as most people recover within one to two weeks. However, in rare cases, dengue can become severe and result in death.

Symptoms typically begin four to 10 days after infection and last for two to seven days. Those infected for the second time are at a higher risk of developing severe dengue.

Symptoms of dengue may include:

  • High fever (40°C/104°F);
  • Severe headache;
  • Pain behind the eyes;
  • Muscle and joint pains;
  • Nausea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Swollen glands;
  • Rash.

Severe dengue symptoms often appear after the fever has subsided, and include:

  • Severe abdominal pain;
  • Persistent vomiting;
  • Rapid breathing;
  • Bleeding gums or nose;
  • Fatigue;
  • Restlessness;
  • Blood in vomit or stool;
  • Being very thirsty;
  • Pale and cold skin;
  • Feeling weak.
Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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