Introduction For Pakistan, dengue has been established as a public health problem. With superimposed factors such as poor socioeconomic conditions, limited public health awareness, poor hygiene, and sanitation conditions, the situation has become more severe and complications have become frequent. Almost 90% of all infections occur in children of age less than 18 years. This is a three-year retrospective report of dengue fever in Southern Pakistan. Methods In this retrospective analysis, all records of patients admitted to the National Institute of Child Health, Karachi, from May 1, 2016, till April 30, 2019, diagnosed with dengue fever were recruited. Their demographic, clinical, and biochemical records were assessed. The outcome was also recorded. Data were entered and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows version 20.0 (IBM Corp., Chicago). Results Among 93 cases of dengue fever, there were 71 (76.3%) male and 22 (23.7%) female children. Their mean age was 5.7 ± 3.07 years. The mean duration from onset of disease to hospitalization was 4.2 ± 2.1 days. The mean platelet count was 47391.30 ± 41370.61 x 109/L. Fever (100%) and abdominal pain (35.5%) were common presentations. Bleeding episodes were seen in 31% of children, rash in 15%, disseminated intravascular coagulation in 3%, and 1% developed pleural effusion. There were no mortalities; 87 (93.5%) were discharged and six (6.5%) children left against medical advice. Conclusion Fever, abdominal pain, bleeding episodes, and rash were common presentations. Hematological, hepatological, neurological, and pleural complications were not uncommon. The outcome of the disease was adequate and there were no mortalities.
Keywords: children; dengue fever; dengue fever/complications; dengue related hospitalization.
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