Diet for Dengue

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms typically begin three to fourteen days after infection. These may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash. Recovery takes two to seven days. In a small proportion of cases, the disease develops into a more severe dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, hepatitis, polyserositis, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs. The risk of death among children less than five years old is four times greater than among those over the age of 10. Elderly people are also at higher risk of a poor outcome. A feeling of fatigue may last for weeks in adults.

International Anti-Dengue Day is observed every year on 15 June. National Dengue Day is held in India on 16 May to raise awareness in affected countries.

Foods to be eaten

Water – Dengue results in major dehydration, therefore, it’s necessary to hydrate your body, drink at least 3-liters of liquids (water, buttermilk, juices, and coconut water). Diabetics should avoid juices and replace with fruit cut. Oral- rehydration therapy is best to overcome weakness & bring the fever down.

Fruits – you can take all kinds of fruits. Orange and its juice, known for its folate content, are also said to improve platelet count. Papaya leaf extract is used for treatment. But a beneficial effect on disease outcome has yet to be studied and papaya leaf extract is not considered a standard of practice therapy.

Soft food – because of loss of appetite, the diet should be easy to digest, nutritionally dense foods should be added in the diet like mix veg khichdi or daliya, porridge, dal, rice, suji, bread can be given. To enhance the flavour of food, one can add fresh herbs like coriander & lemon.

To build up immunity, it is important to have a healthy, well-balanced diet comprising all-important nutrients & natural foods.

Foods to Avoid in Dengue

Oily/Fried food

It’s best to avoid oily food and opt for a lighter diet. Oily food contains a lot of fat, which may lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Spicy Food

Spicy Food is a big no for dengue patients. It can cause acid to collect in the stomach and lead to ulcers and damage to the wall. Avoid excessive use of masala and garlic.

Caffeinated beverages

Since more hydrating and relaxing fluid intake is recommended, caffeinated drinks should be avoided at all costs (cool drinks). These drinks cause rapid heart rate, fatigue, caffeine crashes, and muscle breakdown. Take less or avoid tea or coffee.

Avoid Non-vegetarian food

Non-vegetarian food is a strict ‘No.’ Many of them will suffer from hepatitis or indigestion, so better to avoid non-veg.

Kalyani P
Senior Dietitian HOD Department of Dietetics
OMNI Hospitals, Kukatpally



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