CHARACTERISTICS OF DENGUE FEVER IN A LARGE PUBLIC HOSPITAL, JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA
AbstractBackground: This study aims to determine demographic, clinical and laboratory profile alongwith disease outcome of all confirmed cases of dengue fever (DF) and dengue hemorrhagic fever(DHF) admitted in King Abdulaziz Hospital & Oncology Center, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. We alsowant to highlight the significance of implementing a well targeted community based diseaseprevention program. Methods: All patients admitted from May 2004 till April 2005 with asuspected diagnosis of DF and DHF were followed. All cases confirmed by a positive serology(IgM alone or IgM and IgG) to dengue fever were studied in detail to determine age, gender,ethnicity, monthly distribution, clinical and laboratory profile. Results: A total of 80 patients wereadmitted with a suspected diagnosis of DF. Among these, 39 (48.75%) patients were confirmed bypositive serology to have the disease. Male to female ratio was 3.3:1. Their ages ranged from 2 to60 years with a mean of 27.6 + 11.2. Twelve patients were Saudis, while the rest were non-Saudiscoming from different countries in Asia, Africa and Middle East. Maximum number of patients(48.72%) was seen in the summer months of June, July and August. Commonest presentation wasfever (100%), headache (48.72%), myalgias (66.7%) and vomiting (25.64%). Rash, hemorrhagicmanifestations and positive tourniquet test were relatively uncommon. Only two patients fulfilledWHO criteria of DHF. Main hematological abnormalities were thrombocytopenia (79.49%) andleucopenia (48.72%). Significant elevation of PTT was observed in 25.64% of patients. Abnormalliver function tests with high transaminases were seen in about 66.7% of patients, whereas 33.33%of patients had significantly elevated creatine kinase. All patients improved clinically withimprovement of chemical and hematological parameters. None of the patients died in this series.Conclusion: DF continues to be a significant health problem in Western region of Saudi Arabia.Large number of pilgrims coming from disease endemic areas all over the world facilitates thecontinued introduction of dengue virus with different strains. Fortunately there has been no seriousoutbreak of dengue fever in recent years. A sharp vigilance is required by concerned authorities toprevent and minimize any future outbreak. It is extremely important to implement and maintain aneffective, sustainable and community based disease prevention program.Key Words: Dengue fever, Dengue hemorrhagic Fever, Headache, Rash, Thrombocytopenia
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