The symptoms of these diseases can be confusing and make diagnosis difficult.
Manaus (AM) — Brazil recorded 243,721 probable cases of Dengue in January, according to the Ministry of Health’s Arbovirus Case Monitoring Panel, updated last Wednesday (31). In Amazonas, the situation is considered an alert. In the period from January 1st to 25th this year, the State registered 3,934 cases of dengue, according to the epidemiological bulletin from the Amazonas Health Surveillance Foundation, Dr. Rosemary Costa Pinto (FVS).
The systemic acute febrile infectious disease is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also a vector of other viruses such as Chikungunya and Zika. The symptoms of these illnesses can be confusing and make diagnosis difficult.
Dengue is characterized by high and persistent fever above 38 °C, nausea, vomiting, headache, pain behind the eyes and red spots on the body. However, there are mild cases of the disease that do not present all the symptoms.
“The treatment, both for Dengue, Zika and Chikungunya, is symptomatic, that is, they use medications that alleviate symptoms and some medications need to be avoided if the diseases are suspected, such as acetylsalicylic acid (AAS), anti- inflammatory drugs and corticosteroids”,
guides Dr. Raíssa de Moraes, an infectious disease doctor at Afya.
Zika virus infection is manifested by headache, low fever, mild joint pain, red spots on the skin, itching and redness in the eyes. Generally, the disease does not progress to serious cases, unlike Dengue, which can lead to cases such as hemorrhagic Dengue. The risk of Zika occurs specifically for pregnant women, who can develop Congenital Syndrome associated with infection by the virus, which causes a set of congenital anomalies in embryos or fetuses exposed to the disease during pregnancy.
Severe pain in joints such as fingers, ankles and wrists are the main symptoms of Chikungunya infection. The disease also presents with headache, back pain, itchy skin and mild fever. The disease can progress to a chronic form, when symptoms persist for more than 90 days after the onset of symptoms. In more than 50% of cases, joint pain becomes chronic and can persist for years.
In all three diseases, the diagnosis depends on careful clinical evaluation and the results of some laboratory tests. Therefore, it is important to seek medical evaluation.
According to Afya’s infectious disease doctor, Dr. Raíssa de Moraes, the best way to differentiate the three diseases is to pay attention to predominant symptoms.
“In Dengue, high fever is predominant, while in Zika it may occur on the body. In Chikungunya, joint pain is the main sign. It is important to be aware, as the symptoms can be similar and in the case of Dengue, it can develop into serious cases, so it is important to seek medical evaluation”,
This month, the Unified Health System (SUS) will offer the vaccine against Dengue, Qdenga, an immunizer developed by the Japanese laboratory Takeda Pharma, approved by Anvisa.
“It proved to be effective and safe for the four serotypes of the disease and can be applied to people between 4 and 60 years old. At first, the SUS will only offer it to children aged 10 to 14, being the population most at risk of hospitalization and worsening”,
explains doctor Raíssa de Moraes.
The vaccine contains live attenuated Dengue virus. Therefore, it induces immune responses and can be safely used by those who have previously been infected with the disease. However, those who are allergic to any of the components, those who have a compromised immune system or some immunosuppressive condition, pregnant and breastfeeding women cannot be immunized.
*With information from consultancy
Dengue outbreak in Brazil is part of increase on a global scale, says WHO
Elderly people need a prescription to be vaccinated against dengue; understand