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Title: The early clinical features of dengue in adults: Challenges for early clinical diagnosis
Authors: Low, J.G.H.
Ong, A.
Tan, L.K.
Chaterji, S.
Chow, A.
Lim, W.Y.
Lee, K.W.
Chua, R.
Chua, C.R.
Tan, S.W.S.
Cheung, Y.B. 
Hibberd, M.L.
Vasudevan, S.G. 
Ng, L.-C.
Leo, Y.S.
Ooi, E.E.
Issue Date: May-2011
Citation: Low, J.G.H., Ong, A., Tan, L.K., Chaterji, S., Chow, A., Lim, W.Y., Lee, K.W., Chua, R., Chua, C.R., Tan, S.W.S., Cheung, Y.B., Hibberd, M.L., Vasudevan, S.G., Ng, L.-C., Leo, Y.S., Ooi, E.E. (2011-05). The early clinical features of dengue in adults: Challenges for early clinical diagnosis. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 5 (5) : -. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: The emergence of dengue throughout the tropical world is affecting an increasing proportion of adult cases. The clinical features of dengue in different age groups have not been well examined, especially in the context of early clinical diagnosis. Methodology/Principal Findings: We structured a prospective study of adults (≥18 years of age) presenting with acute febrile illness within 72 hours from illness onset upon informed consent. Patients were followed up over a 3-4 week period to determine the clinical outcome. A total of 2,129 adults were enrolled in the study, of which 250 (11.7%) had dengue. Differences in the rates of dengue-associated symptoms resulted in high sensitivities when the WHO 1997 or 2009 classification schemes for probable dengue fever were applied to the cohort. However, when the cases were stratified into age groups, fewer older adults reported symptoms such as myalgia, arthralgia, retro-orbital pain and mucosal bleeding, resulting in reduced sensitivity of the WHO classification schemes. On the other hand, the risks of severe dengue and hospitalization were not diminshed in older adults, indicating that this group of patients can benefit from early diagnosis, especially when an antiviral drug becomes available. Our data also suggests that older adults who present with fever and leukopenia should be tested for dengue, even in the absence of other symptoms. Conclusion: Early clinical diagnosis based on previously defined symptoms that are associated with dengue, even when used in the schematics of both the WHO 1997 and 2009 classifications, is difficult in older adults. © 2011 Low et al.
Source Title: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
ISSN: 19352727
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0001191
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