Hyderabad: Two new cases of dengue encephalitis infection, a rare form of dengue have been reported at Malla Reddy Narayana Hospital. These cases have raised health concerns among the authorities, as such rare cases have not been reported lately. Among the two patients, one is Dr. Gopi, a 3rd-year junior doctor, and the other is a 16-year-old girl. In the case of Dr. Gopi, initially, the symptoms started with fever and headache, but further, the condition worsened with breathlessness, brainstem surgery, and herniation of the brain. All this happened within 6 hours, and his Glasgow coma scale (GSC) reading fell from 7-8 to less than 4 very rapidly, which demanded intubation. The medication was started, but his brain herniation had already happened, and he died. In the other case, the girl's condition started improving when she was under observation.
The health authorities had reported only one or two such rare cases prior to the pandemic. The health authorities said that, as per the medical history records, only 3–4 cases have been reported globally till date. The health authorities are unable to analyze the cause. The health authorities have reported this kind of severe case in patients who have already been infected with dengue for the second or third time. However, in the two new cases, the patients were not infected with dengue earlier.
Dengue is a viral infection that is transmitted by the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito. The symptoms include a sudden high-grade fever, pain behind the eyes, a severe headache, nausea, vomiting, and bone and joint pains. Skin rashes with red spots on the body are observed on the fifth day of infection.
The dengue virus is composed of four serotypes: DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, and DENV-4, all belonging to the Flaviviridae family. Dengue is one of the major parts of hemorrhagic fever and DEN-2 AND DEN-3 Serotypes play a main role in neural complications. The viral infiltration of the nervous system leads to dengue encephalitis.
There is no specific treatment for dengue, but the symptoms are treated by administering intravenous fluids and analgesics for pain.
The symptoms of dengue encephalitis include high fever, severe headaches, bleeding, altered consciousness, confusion, and seizures.
Prevention is better than cure, so measures have to be taken to prevent dengue cases by preventing mosquito bites while using mosquito nets, wearing loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants, reducing mosquito breeding sites, creating awareness about dengue, especially in dengue-endemic areas, and using mosquito repellents having 20–30 percent DEET.
(Input from various media sources.)