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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
March 5, 2014

Vigilance Needed to Diagnose, Treat Dengue Virus Infection

JAMA. 2014;311(9):896. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.1218

A fatal case of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) apparently triggered by dengue virus infection underscores the need for US clinicians to be aware that dengue can be misdiagnosed as influenza, West Nile virus infection, or another common acute febrile illness.

A recent account in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report traced a 63-year-old Texas woman’s treatment path after she developed an acute febrile illness in 2012 during a vacation in New Mexico. She sought care at an outpatient clinic for fatigue, anorexia, headache, hematuria, and leg pain. Her diagnosis was dehydration, and she was given intravenous saline.

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