Beware of dengue fever


I brought my daughter to the emergency room last night due to severe stomach ache. Her pain threshold is high so when she was writhing in pain, that meant it was truly painful. Like all moms, my anxious mind was thinking about all possibilities, but never considered dengue as I would have had during pre-pandemic time. (Praise God that after several tests, my daughter's case is not dengue.)

As we have been engulfed with the thought of COVID19 these past years, most seem to have forgotten one of the most dreaded diseases that hits the country every rainy season. Dengue, one of the fastest spreading vector-borne diseases in the world endemic, is transmitted by day-biting Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. It can hit anyone with or without symptoms. So here's a quick reminder of the symptoms of dengue:

Fever with any of the following:

  1. Severe stomach ache
  2. Nausea or vomiting
  3. Rashes or hives
  4. Body aches include pain behind the eyes, muscle, joint, or bone pain.
  5. Any warning signs of severe cases of dengue that usually begin 24–48 hours after your fever goes away. Head over to the emergency room if you or a family member has any of the following warning signs:
- Severe stomach ache
  • Bleeding from the nose or gums

  • Vomiting blood, or having blood in the stool, persistent vomiting (at least three times in 24 hours)

  • Difficulty breathing

If you have been diagnosed with dengue fever, here are some tips to heal faster:

  1. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, fruit juices and even soup. Avoid beverages that dehydrate the body including tea, coffee, alcohol and soft drinks.
  2. Take proper medications to control your symptoms. Contact your doctor right away.
  3. For those who get a rash, a prescription can be sought from a doctor even though the rash usually resolves on its own within two to three weeks.
  4. Get lots of rest.
While it can be a nuisance to prevent a bite of these tiny yet deadly mosquitoes, there are still some measures to reduce the danger of having them around.
  • Use insect repellents even while indoors. Keep your electric fans or aircon turned on if possible. If your doors and windows are screened, check that there are no holes that mosquitoes can pass through.

  • Contact the barangay to fumigate your communities, especially those in nearby creeks and canals. Most subdivisions also offer regular fumigation for their homeowners. If your barangay or subdivision does not have such a program, it's high time to make a petition.

  • When outdoors, wear a long -sleeved shirt, long pants and socks.

  • Even if you're not a “plantita,” plant oregano because those repel mosquitoes.  Tawa-Tawa can also be planted as this is said to be an organic medicine that works against dengue.  According to a study published in the Journal of Tropical Medicine, Tawa Tawa has been found to have "significant antiviral and platelet increasing activities" to hasten recovery from dengue.

Dengue tests are available in hospitals and can cost thousands of pesos, but are apparently available in barangay health centers and selected public hospitals. Self test kits are also sold online, but as always, seeking your physician's professional assessment is still best.