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J Infect Dis. 1997 Aug;176(2):313-21.

Early clinical and laboratory indicators of acute dengue illness.

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  • 1Bangkok Children's Hospital, Department of Virology, Armed Forces Research Institute of Medical Sciences, Thailand.


A prospective observational study was conducted to identify early indicators of acute dengue virus infection. Children with fever for <72 h without obvious cause were studied at hospitals in Bangkok and Kamphaeng Phet, Thailand, until resolution of fever. Of 172 evaluable subjects (91% of enrollees), 60 (35%) had dengue, including 32 with dengue fever (DF) and 28 with dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF). At enrollment, children with dengue were more likely than children with other febrile illnesses (OFI) to report anorexia, nausea, and vomiting and to have a positive tourniquet test, and they had lower total white blood cell counts, absolute neutrophil and absolute monocyte counts, and higher plasma alanine and aspartate (AST) aminotransferase levels than children with OFI. Plasma AST levels were higher in children who developed DHF than in those with DF. These data identify simple clinical and laboratory parameters that help to identify children with DF or DHF.

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