If dengue fever is not treated, then it might progress to a condition known as dengue shock syndrome, which should be addressed immediately. But how do you know that dengue fever has progressed to dengue shock syndrome? Dr Rajesh Gokani, General Physician, Fortis S.L Raheja Hospital, Mahim, lists the symptoms of dengue shock syndrome.
Abdominal pain: If you fever and severe pain in the abdomen, then it is wise to consult a doctor and get tests done as recommended as it could indicate that dengue fever might have progressed to dengue shock syndrome.
Myalgia/ muscle pain: Just like dengue fever, dengue shock syndrome also manifests as pain in a muscle or group of muscles. If this is the case with you along with low platelet count, see a doctor immediately.
Nausea: Another common symptom of dengue shock syndrome is feeling nauseated. This can be accompanied by loss of appetite due to high fever and weakness. In severe cases, the patient might vomit blood as well.
Headache: If you have a high-grade fever, low platelet count and muscle pain along with a headache, then it is a sign of concern as it could mean dengue shock syndrome. So do not ignore a headache as it could be a sign of an underlying condition that might be worsening.
Fluid accumulation in the chest: Clinically known as pleural effusion [PE] or ascites, fluid accumulation in the chest can be detected with chest X-ray. It is usually seen with increased hematocrit and rapid decrease in the platelet count.
Fluid accumulation in the liver: Yes, dengue virus affects the liver with varying degree. In extreme cases, it can lead to accumulation of fluid in the liver due to impaired functioning of the liver cells. Your doctor might recommend an ultrasound of the liver to know how your liver is faring.
Haemorrhage: It is mostly seen in children under ten years. However, even adults can suffer from dengue hemorrhagic fever. It not only leads to bleeding (including blood vomit) and circulatory collapse. This is the most critical stage which is usually seen when the platelet count drops below 10,000.