Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are acute viral infections caused by the bite of an Aedes aegypti mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses. It can be fatal if unrecognized and not properly treated in a timely manner.
The female Aedes Aegypti is a day-biting mosquito. The highest biting intensity is about 2 hours after sunrise and several hours before sunset. It approaches from behind and bites on the ankles and elbows.
Signs and Symptoms
- Sudden onset of fever (can be as high as 41 degree Celsius) that may last 2 to 7 days
- Joint and muscle pain behind the eyes
- Skin rashes – maculopapular rash or red tiny spots on the skin called petechiae
- Abdominal pain
- Vomiting of coffee-colored matter
- Dark-Colored stools
- Nosebleeding when fever starts to subside
- Persistent Vomiting
- Rapidly decreasing platelet count
There is NO specific medication for DHF. Antibiotics do not help. Paracetamol is recommended to bring down fever and joint pains. Do not give aspirin and ibuprofen.
Give sufficient amount of water or rehydrate a dengue suspect. Eat nutritious food and take enough rest.
Consult a doctor for fever more than 2 days.
NO VACCINE YET AGAINST DENGUE
Prevention and Control
The Department of Health (DOH) recommends the public to follow the 4-S against Dengue.
1. Search and Destroy
- Cover water drums and pails
- Replace water in flower vases once a week.
- Clean gutters of leaves and debris.
- Collect and dispose all unusable tin cans, jars, bottles and other items that can collect and hold water.
2. Self-Protection Measures
- Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirt.
- Use mosquito repellent every day.
3. Seek early consultation
- Consult the doctors immediately if fever persists after 2 days of rashes appear.
4. Say Yes to Fogging when there is an impending outbreak or a hotspot.
- http://www.doh.ph (Health Advisory on Dengue)
- www.who.int ; www.cdc.gov