The Indian Medical Association has released dengue guidelines and has asked citizens not to panic. Some of the important points to note are listed below:


  • The present serotype is less fatal than the one in 2013. Of the new serotype of dengue (Den1, Den2, Den 3 and Den4),serotypes 1 and 3 are less dangerous as compared to 2 and 4. This year serotypes 2 and 4 are prevalent. The type 4 strain of the disease has emerged as the dominant type for the first time in Delhi, along with dengue type 2.


  • Symptoms of type 4 dengue include fever with shock and a drop in platelets. Type 2 causes a severe drop in platelets, haemorrhagic fever, organ failure and dengue shock syndrome.Every strain carries the risks of hemorrhagic fever, but type 4 is less virulent than type 2. Risk of severe dengue is highest with dengue-2 viruses.

Symptoms include the onset of an acute febrile illness accompanied by headache, retro orbital pain, and marked muscle and joint pains.

Symptoms typically develop between four and seven days after the bite of an

infected mosquito. The incubation period may range from three to 14 days.

Fever typically lasts for five to seven days. The febrile period may also be

followed by a period of marked fatigue that can last for days to weeks,

especially in adults.

Joint pain, body aches, and rash are more common in females.

Important points for citizens to note

  • Dengue is causes by a virus transmitted to humans through mosquito bites.

Adopt multiple measures to avoid the mosquito breeding and bites.

  • Do not panic. Most dengue patients are not serious, dengue is both preventable and manageable.
  • The risk of complications is less than 1 per cent of dengue cases and, if warning signals are known to the public, all deaths from dengue can be avoided.
  • The more reliable test for dengue complications is haematocrit rather than test for platelet count.
  • Especially crucial are 1-2 days after the last episode of the fever are crucial and during this period, a patient should be encouraged to take plenty of oral fluids mixed with salt and sugar.

The main complication is leakage of capillaries and collection of blood outside the blood channels leading to intravascular dehydration. Giving fluids orally or by intravenous routes, if given at a proper time, can save fatal complications.

  • A platelet transfusion is not needed unless patient has active bleeding (other than petechiae) and platelet counts are less than 10,000.

Unnecessary platelet transfusion can cause more harm than good.

  • ‘Warning signs’: Need for admission-
  • Severe abdominal pain or tenderness.
  • Persistent vomiting, lethargy or restlessness.
  • Abrupt change from fever to hypothermia.
  • Bleeding, pallor.
  • Cold /clammy extremities.
  • Liver enlargement on physical exam.
  • Abnormal mental status.

Early recognition:

  Dramatic plasma leakage often develops suddenly; therefore, substantial attention has been placed on early identification of patients at higher risk for shock and other complications.

The period of maximum risk for shock is between the third and seventh day of illness. This tends to coincide with resolution of fever. Plasma leakage generally first becomes evident between 24 hours before and 24 hours after defervescence.

An elevation of the hematocrit is an indication that plasma leakage has already occurred and that fluid repletion is urgently required.

Low platelet count usually precedes overt plasma leakage.

Mild elevations in serum SGOT and SGPT levels are common. Bit in severe dengue the levels are very high with SGOT > SGPT levels.

A normal SGOT levels is a strong negative predictor of severe dengue even in the first three days of illness.

Coexisting medical conditions and chronic hemolytic disease may complicate management. Referral for hospitalization is recommended for such patients, regardless of other findings. Additionally, hospitalization should be considered for patients who may have difficulties with outpatient follow-up (eg, patients who live alone or who live far from a healthcare facility without a reliable means of transport).

Patients with suspected dengue who do not have any of the above indicators probably can be safely managed as outpatients. Daily outpatient visits may be needed to permit serial assessment of blood pressure, hematocrit , and platelet count.

Patient assessment

Must pass urine every three hours.

Duration of extra fluids.

The fluids that are lost into potential spaces (eg, pleura, peritoneum) during the period of plasma leakage are rapidly reabsorbed. Intravenous fluid supplementation should be discontinued once patients have passed the period of plasma leakage.

Usually no more than 48 hours of intravenous fluid therapy are required.

Excessive fluid administration after this point can precipitate hypervolemia and pulmonary edema.

Miscellaneous precautions

  • Use paracetamol as needed for fevers and myalgias. Aspirin or nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agents should generally be avoided.
  • Patients should be cautioned to maintain their fluid intake to avoid dehydration.

Some more facts

When the dominant strain remains the same for a long period, a significant population develops immunity to it, and fewer patients are diagnosed with the virus.

Infection with one of the four serotypes of dengue virus (primary infection) provides lifelong immunity to infection with a virus of the same serotype.

However, immunity to the other dengue serotypes is transient, and individuals can subsequently be infected with another dengue serotype (secondary infection).

Subsequent infection with a second type increases the likelihood of serious illness.

The risk for severe dengue appears to decline with age, especially after age 11 years.