The clinical characteristics and outcome of children hospitalized with dengue in Barbados, an English Caribbean country
Introduction: Although dengue is endemic in all English-speaking Caribbean countries, there are no published studies on the clinical presentations and outcomes of children hospitalized with dengue from this region. This study aims to assess the clinical charcteristics and the outcome in children hospitalized with dengue.
Methods: This was a population-based prospective study of all the children hospitalized with confirmed dengue in 2009 in Barbados. All children suspected to have dengue were routinely screened for dengue infection and underwent routine blood tests. Relevant data was extracted from their case files at the time of their discharge from the hospital.
Results: Of the 199 children who were hospitalized with suspected dengue, 115 (58%) were confirmed. The overall incidence rate of dengue among children that required hospitalization was 2.1/1,000 children. Besides the typical clinical features of dengue, 64 children hospitalized with confirmed dengue also presented with gastrointestinal manifestations (56%), 39 with respiratory manifestations (51%), 11 with hepatic manifestations (10%), 8 with neurologic manifestations (7%), and 7 with cardiovascular manifestations (6%). Twenty (17.4%) children hospitalized with confirmed dengue met the criteria for the diagnosis of severe dengue. The other 82.6% had uncomplicated or non-severe (53.9% had dengue and 28.7% had dengue with warning signs) forms of dengue. The case fatality rate in this series was 1.7%.
Conclusions: Less than a third of all the children with confirmed dengue required hospitalization. Atypical clinical manifestations were common, and only a minority of these children had severe dengue. Overall, the case fatality rate for dengue in this select population of children hospitalized with dengue was low.
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