Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Travel health centre

Dengue - Complications of dengue

NHS Choices Medical Reference

NHS Choices Logo

In a small number of cases a person with dengue goes on to develop a more serious and potentially life-threatening form of the condition known as severe dengue.

Exactly why this is the case is unclear, but the main risk factor is having had a history of previous dengue infection.

Signs and symptoms of severe dengue include:

  • the fever often disappears
  • feeling tired
  • an intense and persistent abdominal pain
  • persistent vomiting (being sick)
  • swelling of your liver which can be both painful and noticeable to the touch
  • passing large amounts of blood in nose bleeds, heavy periods, passing red urine with your stools ('poo') and/or vomiting blood

Another related complication is that people with severe dengue can experience a sudden and severe drop in blood pressure. This is known as dengue shock syndrome.

Symptoms of dengue shock syndrome include:

  • cold, clammy skin
  • a weak rapid pulse
  • dry mouth
  • reduced flow of urine
  • fast breathing

If you have any of the symptoms of severe dengue, you should seek immediate medical help to prevent the disease progressing.

Call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

You will probably need to be admitted to hospital and given fluids via a drip into one of your blood vessels to prevent dehydration and stabilise your blood pressure.

With treatment, the vast majority of people make a rapid recovery and are usually well enough to leave hospital after a few days.

Medical Review: June 30, 2012
Next Article:

Stay informed

Sign up for BootsWebMD's free newsletters.
Sign Up Now!

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Travel tips for less stress

Travel tips for less stress

Travel and Stress Tips for staying calm and safe when you’re travelling

Popular Slideshows & Tools on Boots WebMD

woman looking at pregnancy test
Early pregnancy symptoms
donut on plate
The truth about sugar addiction
woman holding hair
Natural help for dry or damaged hair
woman in bikini
Get ready for swimsuit season
hand extinguishing cigarette
13 best tips to stop smoking
Immune-boosting foods
The role of diet
79x79_not_good_for_you.jpg
18 secrets men want you to know
boy looking at broccoli
Quick tips for feeding picky eaters
hamburger and fries
A guide for beginners
salmon dinner
A diet to boost your mood & energy
polka dot dress on hangar
Lose weight without dieting