4 Symptoms of dengue in infants, dangerous if not determined

Symptoms of dengue in children

Symptoms of dengue in infants : Dengue continues to circulate among us. So, in addition to continuing the fight, we have to be aware of the possible symptoms of the disease. Children are cause for concern, because in addition to being part of the risk group together with chronic patients, the elderly and pregnant women, the symptoms in them can be easily confused with the signs of flu or common viruses. This becomes risky, as the difficulty of reaching the correct diagnosis can lead to a delay in treatment. In the latest epidemics, 25% of dengue victims were under 15 years old.

symptoms in children can be mistaken for flu or virus

As per view of some infectologist and pediatrician, explains that parents should be aware of some signs of the disease: “Their observation is very important for the diagnosis. Because the child will not say that he has a headache, he will not say that he feels joint pain. Therefore, parents should be aware of symptoms such as fever, lack of appetite, if the child is prostrate, irritated, cries a lot, feels pain in the belly, if he is vomiting, is not urinating properly and if he has spots on his body. You don’t need to have all these symptoms, but if your child has some of these, parents should take him to the doctor ”.

Symptoms of dengue in infants video uploaded by narayana health

Dengue does not spread from person to person and to become infected with the virus the child needs to be bitten by the mosquito that hosts the disease. There is no specific treatment for dengue, but drinking plenty of fluids is the most recommended by specialists. “Hydration is good in all cases, even if it is not dengue. It is recommended that the child with dengue is hydrated from 50 to 100 ml per kilo / day. 1/3 of oral hydration serum and 2/3 of water, juice, tea and coconut water. But doctors must explain very well, and in writing, how this hydration should be done ”, reinforces the pediatrician.

Causes and origins

Dengue fever is caused by an arbovirus (virus transmitted by insects), belonging to the family of Flaviviridae , of the genus flavivirus, such as the West Nile virus and yellow fever . It is transmitted to humans by Aedes mosquitoesduring a blood meal. The dengue virus strains fall into four distinct serotypes: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4. 

The immunity acquired in response to Symptoms of dengue in infants of the serotypes confers protective immunity against the infecting serotype but not against the other serotypes. As a result, an individual is likely to be infected with all four of the dengue serotypes during their lifetime. Subsequent infections with other serotypes increase the risk of developing severe, so-called hemorrhagic dengue fever. An effective dengue vaccine should therefore be able to confer protective immunity against all serotypes.

Symptoms of dengue in baby
Symptoms of dengue in infants.. Pic courtesy – pixabay

Medicines such as anti-inflammatory drugs or containing acetylsalicylic acid in the composition cannot be taken during this period. Another warning is the worsening of the disease, which occurs suddenly in children and can be even more dangerous in babies, as the evolution of the condition can be sudden. In most adults, this occurs gradually.

“In addition to examining children well, doctors must have a good medical history. To know if she takes any medication, if she doesn’t have any other disease and for that, she needs the information that the mother provides. The evolution of the disease depends a lot on the patient’s immune response. But children under two are in the risk group for dengue cases. Children with heart disease or lung disease also deserve greater attention ”, warns the pediatrician.

Classic dengueSymptoms of dengue in infants

“Classic” dengue occurs suddenly after 2 to 7 days of incubation by the Symptoms of dengue in infants of a high fever often accompanied by headache , nausea , vomiting , joint and muscle pain and a rash similar to that of measles. After 3 to 4 days, a brief remission is observed, then the symptoms intensify – conjunctival hemorrhages, nosebleeds or bruising that may occur – before rapidly regressing after a week. Healing is accompanied by a recovery of a fortnight. Classic dengue fever, although very debilitating, is not considered a severe disease like dengue hemorrhagic fever.

Hemorrhagic dengue

There is a more serious form of the disease, hemorrhagic dengue. The most severe form occurs, most of the time, when the child has previously been infected with a different type of virus. There are four types of dengue in worldwide. The virus that causes the disease has four serotypes: DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3 and DEN-4. Dengue can present, clinically, as an unapparent Symptoms of dengue in infants, classic dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.

When to think about dengue:

Symptoms of dengue in infants:

 In general, dengue causes acute fever lasting up to seven days, accompanied by other symptoms such as headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, prostration and red spots on the skin, with or without bleeding. In children, it may be asymptomatic or present nonspecific signs and symptoms, such as fever, weakness, drowsiness, refusal of food and fluids, vomiting, diarrhea or loose stools.

Symptoms of dengue in infants under two years of age – especially in children under six months of age – symptoms such as

  1. headache
  2. body aches
  3. persistent crying
  4. weakness and irritability

which can be confused with other febrile infectious conditions.

Symptoms of dengue in infants
Symptoms of dengue in infants.. Pic courtesy – pixabay

Worsening Symptoms of dengue in infants

The disease may go unnoticed and the serious condition be identified as the first clinical manifestation. The worsening, in general, is sudden, different from what occurs in the adult, which is gradual and the alarm signs are more easily detected. The severity and lethality of dengue is higher in children, as the disease can cause a drop in pressure and bleeding. The appearance of persistent vomiting, a sudden drop in body temperature, bleeding, restlessness or drowsiness, persistent crying, cold and pale skin, decreased urine content, severe pain in the belly and difficulty breathing are signs of worsening, which indicate the need to seek medical assistance quickly.Symptoms of dengue in infants.

Is dengue 2 more dangerous than another type of dengue?

“Dengue 2 will give the same symptoms, but in New Caledonia, it seems to give more serious and fatal forms: its problem in French Polynesia is the lack of immunity of the population for 20 years and therefore the risk of major epidemic with a high infection rate, affecting the most vulnerable, including infants who will often need to be hospitalized for monitoring and infusion. “

Why are children more susceptible to dengue fever? 

“Children are more sensitive especially to extreme ages, that is to say the first year of life, because they lose the maternal antibodies transmitted after 6 months and are more vulnerable. We see more severe forms in small infants with significant mortality risks: they dehydrate faster, show less need to drink, bleed more easily and can lose a large volume of blood compared to their weight, when the platelets are too low. “

Treatment manual 

With the increase in dengue cases among Symptoms of dengue in infants and young people up to 15 years of age, in the past few years, the Ministry of Health has developed a specific manual to guide professionals regarding the treatment of the disease in this target audience. The guide warns professionals to redouble their attention to the symptoms of dengue in children.


Dengue is now considered a re-emerging disease. With the globalization of the economy and the increase in the exchange of goods and people, it tends to reach new geographical areas, develops more and more in urban environments, and causes epidemics of greater importance. Severe forms of dengue fever are increasingly seen in recent epidemics.Symptoms of dengue in infants.

A tropical disease

Dengue occurs mainly throughout the intertropical zone . Long limited to Southeast Asia (440,000 cases in China in 1980, 200,000 cases in Thailand in 1987), it continues to spread to the Indian Ocean , to the South Pacific (32,800 cases in Tahiti , Moorea, and in French Polynesia, in 2001), in the French Antilles (2003 and 2006-2008 and 2009-2010), and in Latin America , where the annual cases reported increased by 60 between 1989 and 1993 compared to the previous period (1984-1988).

Since the end of 2009, the disease has been rampant in the West Indies. In 2010, dengue fever caused 86,000 cases in Martinique and Guadeloupe (source InVS). In 2011 and 2012, the epidemic did not declare.

The first cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever appeared in Cuba and the Caribbean in 1981, then again in 1996, in Cuba, after 15 years of interruption. In 2013, the epidemic was declared in Guyana. That year, the Americas region alone reported 2.35 million cases, including 37,687 cases of severe dengue. This worrying resurgence of dengue fever in Latin America and the Caribbean seems linked to the relative effectiveness of mosquito vector eradication programs in this region of the globe. Population growth, uncontrolled urbanization, natural disasters and the impoverishment of populations affected by the disease also seem to be involved. Dengue has a major economic impact for the countries where it occurs.Symptoms of dengue in infants

Towards a colonization of temperate zones

In recent years, Aedes albopictus , a secondary vector for dengue in Asia, has become established in North America and Europe , including in France . Its period of activity in these regions is between May 1 and November 30, but it can survive thanks to its resistance to low temperatures and its ability to hibernate. The risk of dengue transmission has now become a reality. In 2010 in Nice, France, the first 2 indigenous cases of dengue were detected. In 2012, an outbreak in the Madeira archipelago (Portugal) caused more than 2,000 cases and imported cases were detected in 10 other European countries, outside mainland Portugal.Symptoms of dengue in infants

The latest epidemiological data

According to the WHO, in 2013, cases were reported in Florida (United States of America) and in the province of Yunnan (China). Dengue fever has continued to rage in several Latin American countries, including Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico. In Asia, Singapore reported an increase in the number of cases after an absence of cases for several years and outbreaks have also been reported in Laos. In 2014, trends indicate an increase in the number of cases in the Cook Islands, Malaysia, Fiji and Vanuatu, the virus type 3 (DEN 3) affecting Pacific island countries after an absence of ten years.Symptoms of dengue in infants

Means of struggle

There is currently no specific treatment or vaccine marketed to combat this disease, but many multidisciplinary studies are underway. The only existing means of control are the control of vector mosquitoes in the areas concerned and individual protection against mosquito bites.Symptoms of dengue in infants


The main preventive measure continues to be the persistent fight against the mosquito that transmits dengue. It is estimated that about 80% of Aedes aegypti breeding sites are within or close to homes. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention and avoid leaving standing water in containers of any kind, as well as keeping any domestic water tank completely closed.Symptoms of dengue in infants

To prevent mosquito bites, the use of repellent is efficient, at least three times a day, window screens and mosquito nets also help. The mosquito breeds in environments that contain still, clean water. Their eggs can survive up to one year in a dry environment and wait for the next rainy season to form new larvae and multiply mosquitoes.

Symptoms of dengue in infants
Symptoms of dengue in infants.. Pic courtesy – pixabay

The best way to prevent it is to fight the mosquito transmitter by removing possible breeders such as tires in open areas, which can retain rainwater; putting sand instead of water in the plant dishes; always cleaning rarely used toilets, water containers for pets, water tanks and swimming pools. There is no vaccine for dengue prevention.

Symptoms of dengue in infants. Video uploaded by creative diagonastics

Other preventive measures:

  • Screen the windows and use mosquito nets over cribs or other places where the baby is.
  • Electric or spray repellent diffusers can also be used. In the rooms of babies under six months of age or who have a history of allergies or breathing problems, these products should be applied in the child’s absence.
  • With regard to the use of repellents, the most effective products against the dengue mosquito are those containing icaridine (also known as picaridin). The recommendation of the manufacturer of this product in Brazil is for use only from the age of two, but the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States consider it safe to use from both months old. The repellent should only be applied to exposed skin areas; it should not be applied close to the eyes, mouth and hands (the child can ingest) or on areas of damaged skin. It can be applied on clothes. Observe the period of action of the product and reapply it according to the recommendation.

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