The Role of Platelets in Dengue Virus Infection

The Role of Platelets in Dengue Virus Infection

When someone is diagnosed with dengue, the platelet count is one of the first things discussed. It is because platelets are a vital element of the human blood and have a significant part to play. Also termed thrombocytes, they primarily help stop bleeding by clotting and play a role in the defense mechanism through clotting or agglutination. While the normal platelet count is between 1.5 to 4 lakhs, it plummets to below 1.5 lakh in dengue.

What is a platelet count?

First, let’s understand what you mean by platelet count. Platelets are tiny fragments of cells vital for normal blood clotting. They are derived from massive cells termed megakaryocytes in the bone marrow and are released into the blood for circulation. Platelet count is a test that determines the platelet number in a blood sample.

Platelet Count and Dengue Risk

There’s a significant relation between the platelet count and the dengue risk an individual carries. Let us look at the degree of dengue risk, based on the platelet count.

Platelet Count ((per cubic millimeter of blood)Category of Risk
>100,000No Risk
< 20,000High

Why does platelet count decrease in dengue?

A dengue mosquito bite enables the entry of the dengue virus into the bloodstream of the individual. It connects with the platelets and replicates, causing the virus to multiply. The infected platelet cells destroy the normal ones, thus resulting in a drastic drop in the normal platelet count of the individual.

Besides, our body contains disease-fighting cells, which are the natural defense warriors of our body against the dengue virus. They destroy normal platelets, mistaking them to be foreign bodies.

Further, the dengue virus also affects the bone marrow of the affected individual. It causes the bone marrow to suppress and affects its ability to produce all the body’s blood cells, including platelets. The result is a critical reduction in the platelet count. 

What are the risks involved in a low platelet count?

When an individual is diagnosed with dengue, the platelet count must be closely monitored. And, this should be done even if fever subsides. Some dengue-infected people can suffer from dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), wherein the platelet count drops to below one lakh. It is characterized by leaking blood capillaries that can cause circulatory system failure and shock. In worse cases, and the absence of the proper treatment, it can lead to death.

The symptoms of DHF include bleeding nose or gums, skin hemorrhages, and possibly internal bleeding. Such patients require prophylactic platelet transfusion with high bleeding.

Need Dengue Treatment in Pune? Visit Ranka Hospital – One of the Leading Dengue Treatment Hospital in Pune

Dengue symptoms should not be ignored. They must be instantly diagnosed and administered medically. Ranka Hospital is one of the leading hospitals for dengue treatment in Pune. The hospital employs dengue specialists that diagnose the condition and devise the appropriate dengue treatment. Additionally, the hospital offers the latest infrastructure meant to provide the best patient care. For appointments, call +91 20 2426 1600.

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