Treatment of dengue fever
Senaka Rajapakse,1,2 Chaturaka Rodrigo,1 Anoja Rajapakse3
1Department of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka; 2Lincoln County Hospital, United Lincolnshire NHS Trust, Lincoln, UK; 3Kings Mill Hospital, Sherwood Forest NHS Foundation Trust, Mansfield, UK
Abstract: The endemic area for dengue fever extends over 60 countries, and approximately 2.5 billion people are at risk of infection. The incidence of dengue has multiplied many times over the last five decades at an alarming rate. In the endemic areas, waves of infection occur in epidemics, with thousands of individuals affected, creating a huge burden on the limited resources of a country's health care system. While the illness passes off as a simple febrile episode in many, a few have a severe illness marked by hypovolemic shock and bleeding. Iatrogenic fluid overload in the management may further complicate the picture. In this severe form dengue can be fatal. Tackling the burden of dengue is impeded by several issues, including a lack of understanding about the exact pathophysiology of the infection, inability to successfully control the vector population, lack of specific therapy against the virus, and the technical difficulties in developing a vaccine. This review provides an overview on the epidemiology, natural history, management strategies, and future directions for research on dengue, including the potential for development of a vaccine.
Keywords: dengue, treatment, fluid resuscitation
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