Joint and muscular pain for several days after recovering from dengue is common, say health experts. They urge people to consume food items containing Vitamin D and E for speedy recovery.
It is the deficiency of vitamins and minerals that tends to aggravate pain and fatigue in 80 percent of the cases. "Several patients complain of muscle and joint pains for as long as two to three weeks after the disease has subsided. This is especially seen in the elderly," said S.K. Mundhra, head and senior consultant of Internal Medicine at Saroj Super Speciality Hospital.
"Those deficient in micronutrients like Vitamin D, B12 and E are often seen complaining of persisting muscle and joint pains when compared with those who have sufficient amounts of the vital nutrient," said Mundhra. Delhi has witnessed over 3,000 dengue cases this year and recorded over 23 deaths, according to the city's municipal corporations. However, the unofficial figure puts the toll at over 60 with All India Institute of Medical Science alone witnessing five deaths.
Mundhra shares, in some cases the patient become so weak that the pain may last for months. Explaining about the joint and muscular pain, Shobhit Bhardwaj, senior consultant at Delhi-based Yatharth Superspeciality hospital, said: "Two types of pain are associated with dengue. Acute reactive arthritis and other is chronic joint pain. Acute stage has symmetric joint involvement of large and small joints of upper and lower limbs with knee being most commonly affected joint."
"These joint pains can last up to three weeks, but a few subset of patient's joint pain persist up to 2 years. This phenomenon is more common in females and those with associated vitamin E, D and B12 deficiency," Bhardwaj said.
Research suggests that prolonged symptoms of muscle and joint pain may be an auto immune condition, which can be relieved by simple exercises or a brief course of cortico steroids as per the doctor's judgement. The research also showed prolonged joint pain was more commonly associated with chikungunia.