Monsoon is refreshing but it also brings few diseases along with it as well. During this season the spread of mosquito borne infections is very common. Among them, dengue fever is a challenging disease which spreads very fast through the society. It requires early detection and treatment to avoid severe illness.
In this blog by Dr. Chaitrangi Paranjape, everything about dengue fever, symptoms, treatment and most importantly dengue tests for diagnosis are explained in detail.
What is the cause of dengue?
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection. It causes severe flu like syndrome. The infection spreads through the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes (Ae. aegypti or Ae. albopictus). These mosquitoes also spread zika, chikungunya and other viruses.
Why dengue fever is so dangerous?
Each year, up to 400 million people get infected with dengue. Approximately 100 million people get sick from infection, and 40,000 die from severe dengue.
What are the symptoms of dengue?
- Fever as high as 104℉ or 40℃
- Severe headache
- Eye pain, typically behind the eyes (Retro-orbital pain)
- Muscle, bone, or joint pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loose motions
- Decreased appetite
- Swollen glands
Around 3rd to 7th day of fever is a critical period where there is rapid fall of platelets and can lead to severe disease which can result in bleeding. So, diagnosis during this phase of the disease is very important.
What are the important dengue tests for diagnosis of dengue fever?
If you are having fever for more than two consecutive days along with other symptoms like headache, joint pain etc. then you need to undergo few blood tests to diagnose dengue fever.
1. Dengue NS1 Antigen test: It’s a blood test based on antigen detection. Usually within the first five days following the onset of symptoms, this test is carried out. NS 1 antigen can be present for up to 5-7 days after the initial day of dengue infection. After that, it starts to vanish from the body, which might mean that the results were falsely negative.
Cost of dengue NS1 test in Pune is ₹600
2. Dengue IgM Antibody test: If you suffer dengue symptoms for more than five days, you should get an IgM dengue antibody test. Since these antibodies start to develop after 4-5 days of infection, it is typically done after the fourth day of the appearance of the symptoms.
Cost of dengue IgM antibody test in Pune is ₹600
3. Dengue IgG Antibody test: IgG antibodies often start to be detected in low levels 14 to 21 days after infection, and then they gradually increase. These antibodies can be found in the blood for up to 90 days, and in some situations, they may do so indefinitely.
Cost of dengue IgG antibody test in Pune is ₹600
4. Dengue RT-PCR test: This is the most sensitive and most specific test for early detection of dengue virus. It is detectable in early phase of infection up to 7 days where dengue viral genome is detected by PCR method.
Important: In the first 4 to 5 days of the onset of symptoms, dengue NS1 antigen are recommended. (RTPCR test can be done as well).
Between the 4th to 10th day, a combination of NS1 antigen/ PCR and IgM antibodies is recommended.
After two weeks of symptoms, IgG antibody test is recommended.
Apart from above blood tests, Complete Blood Count (CBC blood test) or hemogram is also important blood test to monitor progress of the disease. During 3rd to 7th day of infection platelet starts to drop which can be detected in CBC.
It is advisable to undergo CBC blood test every day during this period of the dengue fever. As platelets dropping below 50 thousand can lead to hemorrhagic disease which can be life threatening and requires hospitalization for further treatment.
Cost of CBC blood test in Pune is ₹250.
*Diagnosis of dengue does not depend solely on platelet counts.
What is diet to be followed during dengue?
Papaya leaf juice, vegetable soups, coconut water, oranges, kiwi fruit, curd, herbal teas may help replenish immunity and platelet faster. Staying hydrated is the key and avoiding oily foods.
When hospitalization is required in dengue cases?
Platelets below 30 thousand requires continuous monitoring. Hospitalization is required in case of aggravated symptoms like uncontrolled fever, loose motions, cold clammy skin, decreased blood pressure, decreased appetite, feeble pulse, pain in the abdomen, or dark stools and petechial rash.
How to stay protected against dengue?
The best way to prevent dengue is to stay protected against mosquitoes. For that purpose, use mosquito nets, insecticide sprays and most importantly avoid any water pits getting filled with stagnant water. Stagnant water is the source of breeding mosquitoes. So, remove water that gets collected in spots such as AC trays, room coolers, potted plants, flower vases, water containers or tanks, and clogged drains.
If you are having fever for more than two days and have additional symptoms like body ache, joint pain then it is recommended to do certain blood tests to rule out dengue. Our PRO Fever package consists of different blood tests to differentiate malaria, dengue, typhoid and other fever inducing diseases. You can read more about it here.
About Author -
Dr. Chaitrangi Paranjape, MD Pathology, she is the owner and chief pathologist at PRO diagnostics , Pune. She has more than 10 years of experience. She has worked with many renowned diagnostic centers and medical institutes including Metropolis, Nucleus, Pioneer, Sunrise diagnostics, Bharti Vidyapeeth Medical college, Pravara Institute of Medical Sciences. Currently she is also working at Institute of Infectious Diseases.
Why choose us:
At PRO diagnostics, with the use of modern technology, experienced phlebotomists and technicians, quick, accurate reports are provided. At PRO diagnostics, all types of pathology tests of blood, urine, sputum are provided at best rates. Home sample collection facility is also available.
To book your tests, call at +91-9856620620 (Home Collection) or logon to www.prodiagnosticsindia.com
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. Home Collection Services for blood samples are available at Pro Diagnostics, Pathology Lab.
A doctor’s prescription is not mandatory to get the test done. You can also consult our expert doctor before you undergo any tests. Call us at 9856620620 for doctor consultation.
Dr. Chaitrangi Paranjape, is the chief consultant pathologist at Pro Diagnostics Pathology Lab Pune. She has more than 10+ years of experience in pathology.
Your blood samples or any pathological sample are processed at our central pathology at Kothrud. Get Direction.
Most of the reports are delivered to you within 12 hours from the time of sample collection.
Yes. We will send you a digital report via WhatsApp or email.
Yes. We do provide full body checkup in pune. You can read more about it in our health blog here.
You can check our services list here. (Following that, click Download Brochure to get test prices.)