The World Health Organization (WHO) has coined the term expanded dengue to describe cases which do not fall into either dengue shock syndrome or dengue hemorrhagic fever. This has incorporated several atypical findings of dengue. Dengue virus has not been enlisted as a common etiological agent in several conditions like encephalitis, Guillain Barre syndrome. Moreover it is a great mimic of co-existing epidemics like Malaria, Chikungunya and Zika virus disease, which are also mosquito-borne diseases. The atypical manifestations noted in dengue can be mutisystemic and multifacetal. In clinical practice, the occurrence of atypical presentation should prompt us to investigate for dengue. Knowledge of expanded dengue helps to clinch the diagnosis of dengue early, especially during ongoing epidemics, avoiding further battery of investigations. Dengue has proved to be the epidemic with the ability to recur and has a diverse array of presentation as seen in large series from India, Srilanka, Indonesia and Taiwan. WHO has given the case definition of dengue fever in their comprehensive guidelines. Accordingly, a probable case is defined as acute febrile illness with two or more of any findings viz. headache, retro-orbital pain, myalgia, arthralgia, rash, hemorrhagic manifestations, leucopenia and supportive serology. There have been cases of patients admitted with fever, altered mentation with or without neck stiffness and pyramidal tract signs. Some had seizures or status epilepticus as presentation. When they were tested for serology, dengue was positive. After ruling out other causes, dengue remained the only culprit. We have come across varied presentations of dengue fever in clinical practice and the present article throws light on atypical manifestations of dengue.
© Journal of the Association of Physicians of India 2011.