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What are the consequences of dengue fever and how long do they last? Understand


Overcoming dengue doesn’t always mean the end of your problems; neurological, cardiac, renal and hepatic symptoms may persist after recovery of the disease

A dengue The most common manifestations are high fever, spots on the skin and muscle pain, which usually last five to seven days. But, even after recovery, the person affected by the disease may experience persistent symptoms. It is worth noting that, to date, the Ministry of Health has recorded more than 4.7 million probable cases of infection.

According to Melissa Falcão, an infectious disease specialist and consultant at the Brazilian Society of Infectious Diseases (SBI), the classic dengue condition usually improves without leaving permanent sequelae. In a common situation, at most the tiredness and headaches can last longer, disappearing after a few days or weeks.

But the truth is that the dengue virus enters the bloodstream and can multiply in different organs. Melissa explains that it is through this process that complications can appear. Discover the main ones below.

Repercussions on the nervous system

Dengue can affect the nervous system, both in adults and children. According to the Ministry of Health, manifestations of this problem include convulsions, delirium, drowsiness, irritability, amnesia and paralysis. One of the most serious complications is encephalitis. The condition is an inflammation that occurs in the brain when a virus (in some cases, bacteria) manages to attack it directly.

According to Melissa, encephalitis can cause consequences such as motor and speech difficulties, as well as Guillain-Barré syndrome, which increases the risk of loss of movement. This syndrome is triggered by an acute bacterial or viral infection and causes symptoms such as weakness and tingling in the feet and legs that spread throughout the body. It can lead to paralysis and cause permanent damage.

Cardiovascular impacts

In its severe form, dengue can also cause serious changes in the heart, which manifest themselves, for example, in heart failure and myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. According to the Brazilian Society of Cardiology (SBC), 48% of patients who progress to the severe form of dengue develop myocarditis.

Most people affected by this inflammation recover. However, if it spreads to the heart, it can cause chronic heart failure and other serious problems.

Kidney and liver problems

The SBI infectious disease specialist also warns that complications of severe dengue can damage the liver and kidneys.

Many doctors associate severe dengue fever with acute renal failure (ARF). In this condition, the kidneys suddenly and rapidly lose the ability to perform their basic functions. In more severe cases, patients can develop even more serious symptoms, such as seizures or coma, according to the Brazilian Society of Nephrology (SBN).

As for the liver, according to the Ministry of Health, Mildly elevated levels of liver enzymes – an indicator of possible organ damage – are found in up to 50% of dengue patients. In more severe cases, severe impairment of liver function may occur.

How long do the side effects last

Melissa explains that, among people who develop dengue-related consequences, some may have permanent problems, while others have symptoms that will improve over time.

In short, the duration depends on several factors. These include the type of dengue, which parts of the body have been affected, the severity of this complication, the patient’s health and the individual immune response.

The doctor warns that the risk of developing a serious disease, which can lead to permanent sequelae, is greater for subjects with comorbidities, children under 2 years of age, the elderly (over 60 years of age), pregnant women and women who they had a child some time ago. Therefore, this public must take special care in preventing the disease, and in case of infection, keep an eye out for signs that may indicate severe dengue and seek medical support.

Signs of severe dengue

To minimize the risk of sequelae, the first step is to understand the warning signs of the disease. Melissa explains that some of them are:

  • Frequent vomiting
  • Severe pain in the belly
  • Bleeding (in the nose or mouth)
  • Fainting
  • Irritation or drowsiness
  • Liver enlargement (seen in tests)

The infectious disease specialist warns that it is important to avoid self-medication. “The use of hormonal anti-inflammatories, drugs so commonly used in our population for pain and fever, increases the risk of bleeding and severity,” she explains.

Additionally, Melissa points out that the main treatment for dengue is to maintain hydration, which reduces the chance of complications directly related to the disease. Finally, at the first warning sign, it is necessary to go to hospital, where the patient will receive adequate hydration, in addition to specific medications prescribed by a professional.

Source: Terra

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