Types of dengue fever and symptoms of each

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Oct 31, 2011
Quick Bites

  • Dengue is categorised into three types.
  • Adults and children are usually afflicted to dengue fever.
  • DHF occurs when you dengue infection more than once.
  • Dengue shock syndrome is an emergency which follows DHF.

Dengue fever (DF) is a viral infection caused by dengue virus which is transmitted by mosquito bite. A dengue infection can be subclinical, i.e. it can go unnoticed with no apparent symptoms.


dengue fever


The symptoms of dengue range from mild fever to even fatal condition. These last for a week, but in some cases the fever and other symptoms resurface and stay for 2 or 3 days. Based on the symptoms and their severity, the disease has been categorised as:


Dengue Fever (DF)

Adults and grown up children are more prone to being afflicted with these symptoms while young children quite often do no show these at all. They are:

  • Sudden onset of fever that lasts 3 to 7 seven days
  • Severe headache, especially at the back of the eyes
  • Pain in knee, ankle and elbows
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth (sort of metallic)
  • Loss of appetite which is often accompanied by abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Rashes on arms and legs
  • Severe itchiness leading to skin peeling off and hair loss
  • Heavy menstrual periods with minor bleeding from nose or gums
  • Flushing of skin on face and neck
  • Fatigue
  • Second instance of rash as fever subsides


Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF)

DHF is a complication of the disease that can be fatal. It usually occurs if you have dengue infection more than once. The symptoms of dengue hemorrhagic fever are similar to dengue fever but the latter may become severe. Most of the patients recover quickly following appropriate medical treatment.

The condition of the patient show rapid deterioration 2-5 days after the fever starts. If the disease is not severe, the signs and symptoms decrease after the fever resolves.
After a few days of fever and develop bleeding from the nose, gums, mouth or in the skin, which leads to purplish bruises.
In some patients after the fever resolves signs of circulatory failure (low blood pressure or shock) develops which can rapidly progress to severe shock or turn lead to death within 12 to 24 hours.


Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS)

If you are forewarned about the signs of Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS), which follows DHF, the patient can survive. DSS is the severest condition of dengue fever and

You must hospitalise the patient if you experience

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting with blood
  • Mental irritability
  • Fluctuation in body temperature
  • Low blood pressure

You are advised to visit a medical facility as soon as possible if you find these symptoms as DSS can cause death within 24 hours.



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