How can dengue fever treated?
Q: My 52 years old diabetic father has been suffering from dengue fever for the last 4 days. He is a heart patient too. His condition is not improving and his platelets count has dropped to 42,000/ml. Beside fever, he is also having loose motions and vomiting. Please advise.
A:Dengue is a viral illness transmitted by bite of Aedes aegypti mosquito. There is no specific treatment for dengue and it is mainly the symptoms, which are treated. I am sure that your father would be off any kind of aspirin since the fever started. He can be given injections and tablets to stop vomiting and diarrhoea. Meanwhile he should be on intravenous drips to prevent dehydration and low blood pressure. Sugar should be monitored by a glucometer and short acting insulin can be administered if sugar is high. It is more important to avoid hypoglycaemia (low sugar). The platelet count drops during the course of the illness for 3-4 days approximately and then stabilises and picks up quickly. A person can develop rashes or mild gum bleed etc. Transfusion is mainly indicated if significant bleed or platelets are very low-close to 20,000/ml. There may be some leaking from small blood vessels (capillaries) and cause fluid around the lungs or in the abdominal cavity. This reabsorbs into the circulation later. Your father's platelets and vital signs need to be monitored closely in the hospital till he improves since he has underlying medical conditions including diabetes and heart problem.