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Low Platelet Count? How to Increase Platelet Count in Dengue

Low Platelet Count? How to Increase Platelet Count in Dengue

Dengue is one of the most widespread mosquito-borne viral infections in the world. The virus responsible for causing dengue is dengue virus (DENV). There are four types of this virus, meaning that you can be infected up to four times.

Dengue has a marked effect of lowering the platelet count of patients. This makes it a very dangerous and serious illness. This also makes it important to learn how to increase platelet count in dengue patients.

Platelet Count

Platelets are a component of your blood. They are also known as thrombocytes. Their primary function is to help stop bleeding by forming blood clots. They also serve as a line of defense by way of processes like agglutination, or clumping.

Platelets are responsible for processing coagulation, hemostasis, angiogenesis, inflammation, and probably the most relevant process to addressing dengue – mobilizing an immune system response.

A typical person of average health has a platelet count ranging from 150,000 to 200,000 for each microlitre of blood.

The Importance of Platelet count in Dengue

When affected by dengue, you may find yourself in one of four categories that indicate the amount of platelets you have, and the corresponding risk level:

  • No risk: 100,000 or more platelets per microlitre of blood
  • Low risk: 40,000 to 100,000 platelets per microlitre of blood
  • Moderate risk: 21,000 to 40,000 platelets per microlitre of blood
  • High Risk: Anything less than 20,000 platelets per microlitre of blood

When you find yourself at high risk and are experiencing severe symptoms of dengue, it may be necessary to have a platelet transfusion.

When an infected mosquito bites a person, the virus is able to enter the bloodstream and stick to the person’s platelets, which then replicates and spreads to other platelets. The same platelets are also destroyed in the process. This is the main reason why our platelet counts are so low when we are infected with dengue.

A secondary reason for such a low platelet count is the body’s natural response to combat foreign substances in our body. At times, this response destroys normal platelets, as though they were foreign bodies.

Common Childhood Illnesses in the Philippines

How to Increase Platelet Count in Dengue

Learning how to increase platelet count in dengue patients is very important. High risk patients may need a platelet transfusion, but all patients suffering from dengue can come up with ways of increasing their platelet count. Listed below are some examples of how to increase platelet count in dengue cases:


Eating foods that contain vitamins and minerals that are used to build and maintain platelets in your blood. This includes food that contains vitamin B-12, folate, iron, and vitamin C.

Foods that are good for managing your platelet count include:

  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Fruits like oranges and mangoes
  • Lentils
  • Beef
  • Vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes

Avoiding foods that decrease your platelet count is equally important. This includes alcohol, cranberry juice, and tonic-based drinks.

how to increase platelet count in dengue


You can also take supplements that help increase your platelet count. This includes supplements such as chlorophyll, melatonin, bovine colostrum, and papaya leaf extract.


One of the most important practices is to maintain hydration and to never dehydrate yourself while you are affected by dengue.

Key Takeaway

While high-risk dengue patients may seek platelet transfusions, controlling one’s diet is a good way to manage platelet count for all dengue patients, regardless of the level of risk involved.

Learn more about Infectious Diseases here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Role of platelet transfusion in the management of dengue patients in a tertiary care hospital, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3168133/
Accessed February 6, 2021

The value of daily platelet counts for predicting dengue shock syndrome: Results from a prospective observational study of 2301 Vietnamese children with dengue, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407568/
Accessed February 6, 2021

Dengue Case Management, https://www.cdc.gov/dengue/resources/dengue-clinician-guide_508.pdf
Accessed February 6, 2021

Platelet activation determines the severity of thrombocytopenia in dengue patients, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5282509/
Accessed February 6, 2021

Dengue and severe Dengue, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dengue-and-severe-dengue

Accessed April 14, 2021

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Written by Amable Aguiluz Updated Apr 26, 2021
Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel