Can Dengue Cause Low WBC?

Mosquito biting

Yes, dengue fever can cause a decrease in white blood cell (WBC) count, a condition known as leukopenia. Dengue fever is a viral infection transmitted by mosquitoes infected with the dengue virus.

During a dengue infection, the virus directly affects the bone marrow, which is responsible for producing various blood cells, including white blood cells. Dengue virus infection can lead to a temporary decrease in the production of white blood cells, specifically affecting certain types such as lymphocytes and neutrophils, causing leukopenia.

Leukopenia, or low white blood cell count, is a characteristic feature of dengue fever and is often seen during the early stages of the illness. However, as the infection progresses, there might be fluctuations in the WBC count, and in some cases, the count might increase or return to normal as the body’s immune response ramps up to fight the virus.

Low white blood cell count in dengue fever is just one of the several characteristic laboratory findings alongside other symptoms like fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, rash, and in severe cases, bleeding tendencies or organ impairment.

If someone suspects they have dengue fever due to symptoms and possible exposure to the virus, it’s essential to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment. Monitoring the complete blood count (CBC) is crucial in assessing the progression and severity of the disease. Severe cases of dengue fever may require hospitalization and supportive care.

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