Confused if it’s Covid-19 or dengue? Here’s the difference

The symptoms of Covid-19 and dengue may seem similar and leave you confused. Read on to know how to differentiate between them.
fever due to virus
Don't panic without knowing the facts. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Parmita Uniyal Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 01:56 pm IST
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As dengue cases are showing an upward trend and India continues to struggle with Covid-19 pandemic, experts are saying there are possible chances of a double infection in people. Many people are getting admitted to the hospital with symptoms of both Covid-19 and dengue, which can be life threatening, says Dr Kirti Sabnis, Infectious Disease Specialist, Fortis Hospitals, Kalyan.

Considering the symptoms of the two diseases may overlap, it is important for the people to know how to differentiate between the two diseases.

dengue and covid-19
Don’t confuse dengue symptoms with Covid-19. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

“With Covid-19 in our reality nowadays, one might mistake the Covid-19 infection for dengue and vice versa. However, there are some symptoms solely for each of the two illnesses,” says Dr Sabnis.

Here’s how to differentiate between Covid-19 and dengue
  • Lack of smell and taste is a sign of Covid-19 and not dengue
  • Diarrhoea is more common in dengue compared to Covid-19 which is a respiratory infection.
  • Fever, dry cough, tiredness, sore throat, conjunctivitis, headache, shortness of breath, chest pain are among the common symptoms of Covid-19
  • Depending on the severity of dengue it can be be differentiated into mild dengue fever, dengue haemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome.
Symptoms of mild dengue fever

“For mild dengue fever, the symptoms can range from joint and muscle aches, high fever, body rash, frequent vomiting, and intense headache. These symptoms generally disappear with treatment in a week and are rarely fatal,” sayd Dr Sabnis.

Symptoms of dengue haemorrhagic fever

“In dengue haemorrhagic fever, there is bleeding in the gums, nose, mouth, low blood platelets count, internal bleeding, diarrhoea, convulsions, blood spots on the skin, intense fever, clammy skin and abdominal pain. Without proper medical care, the situation can escalate to being fatal,” says the doctor.

Also Read: Had dengue before? Study suggests you might have some immunity against Covid-19

covid-19 and dengue
Check the severity of your dengue fever. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Symptoms of dengue shock syndrome

“Lastly, dengue shock syndrome is the most severe and is often lethal. The signs include low blood pressure, weak and rapid pulse beat, brain oedema leading to visual/ auditory hallucinations, cerebral anoxia (no oxygen reaching the brain), heavy bleeding, high fever, vomiting, acute abdominal pain, etc,” he adds.

It is advised for a dengue patient to stay hydrated and seek consultation from a doctor. If the situation is serious, hospitalisation may be necessary. For Covid-19, one must continue to follow proper social distancing measures and wearing masks.

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