Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Dreaded, Dreadful Dengue




DOH: 42,207 dengue cases, 
193 deaths from January to 1st week of June
ELR, GMA News, June 15, 2013, 4:06am

With the onset of the rainy season, the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, such as Dengue (pronounced as "DEN-gee" or "DEN-gay"), has risen.

Aedes aegypti/ Aedes albopictus


CAUSE:  Dengue virus (has 4 strains) contracted from the bite of an Aedes mosquito that has previously bitten an infected person (infected person > mosquito > another person)

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

·         Fever (usually high-grade, 39-41 degrees Centigrade) and Chills
·         Headache
·         Eye pain
·         Joint and Muscle pain
·         Rash (Reddish or Pale pink)
·         Nausea, Vomiting, Loss of Appetite

After the initial fever, some people may have:
·         Bleeding from the nose, mouth, gums
·         Vomiting of blood
·         Blackish stools
·         Severe abdominal pain
·         Signs of shock

MANAGEMENT:
·      If you or a family member has high-grade fever of 2 days duration and rashes on the skin, consult a physician or visit the nearest clinic/ health center/ hospital immediately.
·       There is no specific medicine for treating dengue fever.
·         For mild cases, the patient is treated with plenty of fluids and rest.  He may also be given Paracetamol for fever and/or pain. However, do not give him anti-inflammatory medicines like Aspirin, Ibuprofen, or Mefenamic acid (may increase the risk of bleeding).
·         Dengue hemorrhagic fever, the more serious form of dengue fever, usually requires treatment in a hospital.

PREVENTION:
·         There is no vaccine to prevent dengue fever.

4S AGAINST DENGUE by the DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (DOH)
·         Search and destroy breeding places of mosquitoes.
o   Throw away, turn over, empty any container and old tires that may accumulate rain water.
o   Change water and clean flower vases every week.
o   Always place a tight lid on containers used for water storage (drums, buckets).
o   Check that there are no mosquito larvae (kiti-kiti) in stored water.
o   Avoid having plants that could accumulate rain water.
·         Self-protection measures:
o   Use screens on door and windows.
o   Use anti-mosquito nets.
o   Wear protective clothing (long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and closed shoes).
o   Use safe repellents (DEET, Picaridin, Lemon Eucalyptus oil) on your clothing and exposed skin. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
o   Spray insecticides under the tables and behind the curtains.
·         Seek early consultation.
·         Say NO to indiscriminate fogging.
o   Do fogging only during outbreaks. (Fogging operations usually fail because these merely drive away mosquitoes to other areas.)


Sources:
Department of Health (DOH)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)




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