Table of Contents

2020 Month : March Volume : 9 Issue : 9 Page : 655-661

Predictors and Outcome of Severe Dengue Illness in Children.

Sheela Theparambil Alikunju1, Nithya Thuruthiyath2, Alok Kanjhoor Premdas3, Rose Mary Jose4

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Sheela Theparambil Alikunju,
SAD’R, 55/1188, Aliya Gardens,
Panjikal, Ayyanthole,
Thrissur-680003, Kerala. India.



Dengue fever has become a major public health concern during the last few years with an alarming increase in the incidence in 2017. The state of Kerala was one among the top of the list in India reported to have severe dengue infection. The two main districts in Kerala with high prevalence were Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad, of which latter is the main referring area to our institution. This study was conducted to evaluate the clinical and demographic profile of children affected with dengue fever and determine the predictors of severity.


This is a hospital based prospective study done at the Department of Paediatrics, Government Medical College, Trissur, during the Monsoon season in 2017. Children diagnosed to have Dengue fever and confirmed by NS1 Ag test or IgM Elisa were included. Children were classified into 3 clinical groups and compared. Comparison was also made in 2 groups as dengue with warning signs and severe dengue as per WHO 2015 clinical guidelines, to find out the predictors of severity. Qualitative data was analysed and expressed in proportions and quantitative data in mean and standard deviation. Chi-square (χ2) test was used to evaluate the association between qualitative variables and ANOVA for quantitative variables. p value less than 0.05 was considered significant. SPSS 16.0 software was used for statistical analysis.


A total of 235 children were included. 77 children (32.9%) had mild dengue fever, 106 (45.29%) had DWS and 52 (22.22%) were having DSS). Mean age was 6.61± 3.497 years. 19 cases (8.2 %) were Infants below 1 year of age. Majority of children had normal nutritional status. Myalgia, tiredness, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, flushing, bleeding, oedema, hypotension, were found to be the common clinical manifestations. Thrombocytopenia, elevated serum hepatic enzymes both SGOT and SGPT, abnormal renal function tests, low sodium, hypoalbuminemia, hypoglycaemia, abnormal radiological findings were found to be the predictors of severity. We had many cases of expanded dengue syndrome including 3 cases of Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). The mortality was 0.6%.


Dengue fever can affect children irrespective of their age or nutritional status. Older children and male sex were found to be more affected. There are definite clinical and lab parameters which can predict the severity in Dengue fever. Though severe illness is associated with high morbidity early diagnosis and timely appropriate clinical management, correction of dehydration along with proper referral system can save the children. The mortality can be reduced to zero even in patients having expanded dengue syndrome and Dengue shock syndrome. None of the comorbidities had affected the outcome.


DWS (Dengue with Warning Signs), DSS (Dengue Shock Syndrome), AST (Aspartate Aminotransferase) (SGOT), HLH (Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis)


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