Bangladesh is currently dealing with a fresh wave of COVID-19 cases and a high increase in dengue infections, putting a burden on the country’s healthcare system, which is already being pummeled by the rising COVID crisis.

In the early stages, dengue viruses and COVID-19 can have similar symptoms. The majority of patients infected with dengue or COVID-19 have mild sickness that may be treated at home.  Both dengue and COVID-19, on the other hand, can cause serious sickness and even death. 

Signs and Symptoms

Dengue and COVID-19 have some similar symptoms

Dengue

Symptoms of dengue typically last 2-7 days. The most common symptom of dengue is fever with any of the following:

  • Aches and pains (severe pain in the bones, behind the eyes, muscle pain, and joint pain)
  • Rash
  • Nausea
  • Lethargy, restlessness, or irritability
  • Bleeding from the nose or gums
  • Vomiting blood or blood upon excretion
COVID-19

Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with COVID-19 may have but are not restricted to:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea or vomiting

High-Risk Individuals

People at higher risk for dengue and COVID-19 may include:

Dengue
  • Infants
  • Women, especially pregnant women
  • Patients with chronic medical conditions, like diabetes, asthma, obesity, and heart disease
  • Patients with dengue infection for the second time
  • Time since the previous dengue infection (the longer, the higher the risk)
COVID-19
  • People with a pre-existing medical condition and other comorbidities
  • Pregnant women

How COVID-19 and Dengue Spread

Dengue viruses are transmitted to humans mostly through the bites of infected mosquitoes (vector-borne disease). COVID-19 is expected to spread mostly through respiratory droplets produced by infected people coughing, sneezing, or talking. 

Current Situation in Bangladesh

Within this year alone, more than 9000 cases of dengue have been detected all over Bangladesh. The majority of dengue cases arising in Dhaka have added to the strain on Bangladesh’s healthcare system, currently addressing the second wave of COVID-19. Most hospital beds and intensive care units (ICUs) have been filled up by COVID-19 patients, making it difficult for dengue patients to be admitted to a facility.

Dengue has become increasingly severe and complicated in recent times as people exhibit symptoms similar to COVID-19. The similarity between these two diseases makes it more difficult for the correct illness to be diagnosed.

If you develop any symptoms or are observing worsening conditions, call your doctor immediately to seek medical attention. Your doctor can help you understand your symptoms and condition and give a full diagnosis, whether dengue, COVID-19, or both. 

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