Differentiating Influenza-Like-Illnesses from Dengue Fever | Gleneagles Hospitals
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Differentiating Influenza-Like-Illnesses from Dengue Fever

22 March 2024 · 3 mins read


Explore the key differences between ILIs and dengue fever to stay informed and protected.

Influenza-Like-Illnesses (ILIs) and dengue fever are two illnesses that can cause similar symptoms such as fatigue, headache, fever, and nausea or vomiting.

ILIs are mainly caused by viruses that affect the respiratory system, while dengue fever is caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes.

Symptoms of Influenza-Like-Illnesses (ILIs) vs Dengue Fever

Understanding the differences in symptoms can help us seek the right treatment and take preventive measures to avoid getting sick. 

Symptoms of Influenza-Like-Illnesses (ILIs)

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever above 38ºC
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms that occasionally accompany influenza, especially in children include nausea or vomiting and diarrhoea

You should look out for:

  • Sudden onset of high fever (40°C/104°F)
  • Severe, intense headache
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Aching muscles and joints
  • Feeling nauseous and vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Bodily rash

If you develop any of the following warning signs of severe dengue, get medical attention immediately:

  • Bleeding from the mouth/gums/nose
  • Clammy skin
  • Internal bleeding that leads to black vomit and stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Small blood spots under the skin
  • Weak pulse

Prevention Tips for ILIs and Dengue Fever

Preventing influenza-like-illnesses

  • Get vaccinated against flu. Get your annual flu jab.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who shows flu symptoms.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
  • Practice distancing from others when you are in indoor public spaces.
  • Avoid crowds and indoor places that have poor ventilation.
  • Wear a face mask when you are in the crowd.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Preventing dengue fever

  • Regularly clean out containers that may accumulate water and become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the risk of mosquito bites when you are out and about.
  • Use mosquito repellent or products containing citronella.
  • Keep your doors and windows closed whenever possible or use blinds or screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering.

Book an Appointment at Gleneagles Hospitals

If you experience any respiratory or dengue virus infection that requires medical attention, please seek immediate medical attention at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department at your nearest Gleneagles Hospital.

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