Dengue is one of the most dreadful diseases that is common, can affect anybody and damages the body and your overall health in several destructive ways. It can take months to recover completely from dengue. Doctors are known to give a detailed set of dos and don’ts concerning diet and other lifestyle habits when a patient is recovering from dengue. Dengue has serious consequences which can be fatal or lifelong. You may be aware that dengue causes thrombocytopenia (decreased platelet count), but do you know what exactly this can lead to? Kanchan Naikawadi, managing director and preventive healthcare specialist, Indus Health Plus, elaborates.

Dengue virus causes destruction of platelets hence their number decreases. Platelets are an important factor for blood coagulation to prevent blood loss. When platelets are depleted, stopping bleeding isn’t easy. Apart from platelets the virus also damages cells of skin, mucosa, heart, brain, eye etc. The damage causes cell death/ cell break down. As a consequence, there is bleeding/ fluid collection in various body pockets.

The virus is known to affect the cardiac muscles which when injured do not function optimally and as a consequence, the heart pumping decreases. Many times this injury recovers over a year but in some unfortunate few cases, it becomes irreversible. And the person lives with reduced pumping for the rest of their life. It also affects the electrical circuits of the heart which lead to rhythm disorder (abnormal pulsations).

Similarly, the kidneys are also known to be affected causing acute renal failures. Many times, renal affection is self-limiting but kidney involvement can be fatal. Other documented rare complications are permanent loss of sight due to eye involvement and progressive paralysis (GB syndrome). The virus is also known to cross the placental barrier and reach the fetus. So, pregnant ladies should be very careful.

Here are some signs and symptoms you must watch out for:

 Fever for 3 to 7 days
 Intense headache and pain behind the eyes
 Muscle and joint pain
 Loss of appetite
 Vomiting and diarrhoea
 Skin rash
 Bleeding, usually from the nose or gums