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Tips on differentiating Dengue from COVID

 

It is important to understand that dengue is a mosquito-borne disease while COVID-19 involves human to human transmission. Some of the common symptoms that dengue and COVID-19 share are fever, sore throat, and fatigue. Due to these overlapping symptoms in the early stages dengue can be mistaken for COVID-19 or vice-versa. The other symptoms which can help differentiate between the two diseases are loss of taste and smell blindness.

Here are the tips to distinguish Dengue and COVID-19 for correct clinical decision making:

DETERMINING FACTOR

DENGUE

COVID-19

Spread

Does not spread, caused by the bites of Aedes mosquitoes

Spread through respiratory droplets

Incubation Period

Ranges between 3-10 days

Ranges between 4-12 days

Fever

High grade

Usually low grade

Joint Pains

Yes

No

Headache

Periorbital

Frontal

Body aches

Joint pain, backache

Muscle pain

Cough and Cold

No

Yes

Patching

Yes

No

Warning Signs

Abdominal pain, vomiting, bleeding, low BP

Shortness of breath

Clinical Course

Upto 7-10 days

Long

Clinical Deterioration

4-5 days

8-12 days

 

Routine investigations are also helpful in determining if it is dengue or COVID-19

S.No.

CLINICAL MANIFESTATION

DENGUE

COVID-19

1.

Fever

Saddleback fever (fever with two peaks)

100%

No specific fever patterns. Defervescence after 6 days of illness

92.23-98.6%

2.

Headache

45-95%

6.5-13.6%

3.

Myalgia

12%

15-44%

4.

Cough

21.5%

76%

5.

Dyspnea

9.5-95.2%

55%

6.

Diarrhea

6%

2-34%

7.

Abdominal pain

17-25%

2%

8.

Vomiting

30-58%

4-5%

9.

Cutaneous manifestation

Skin flushing that blanches on pressure, petechiae, and convalescent rash

Erythematous rash, urticaria, chickenpox-like vesicles

 

S.No.

LABORATORY FINDINGS

DENGUE

COVID-19

1.

Thrombocytopenia

69.51-100%

12-36.2%

2.

Leukopenia

20-82.2%

25-29%

3.

Lymphopenia

63%

63%

4.

Increase AST

63-97%

31-35%

5.

Increase ALT

45-97%

24-28%

6.

Increase D-dimer

13-87%

46.4%

 

Anyone of any age can result in severe illness with dengue or COVID-19 that can even result in death. One should undergo appropriate tests for dengue and COVID-19 and closely watch the warning signs.

The health ministry has issued guidelines on prevention and treatment for seasonal infections along with the coronavirus in order to avoid health risk in people. With the onset of dengue season in India, we experience heavy loads in the hospitals each season and this time it co-exist with COVID-19. Therefore, it becomes all the more important to stay geared up for the situation. Health workers have been working hard for the safety of the people and to eradicate the diseases.

It is indeed better to understand prevailing community health needs than to struggle for hospital bed availability.