Hi, Azzam here. A couple of weeks ago while enjoying my Saturday, my body’s temperature spiked to an alarming number. As our current predicament with the COVID-19 pandemic, my initial thought was “Do I have the virus?”. So I pushed my weaken body to get ready and visited the hospital to test myself.
Good news! I do not have the virus. Bad news, I had a different virus. I was a victim of the illness known as Dengue. And apparently, the numbers are growing at an alarming rate.
I left school years ago, but what is Dengue again?
What is Dengue? Dengue is an illness transmitted by mosquitoes, causing Dengue Fever and the more severe form Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever and Dengue Shock Syndrome. The virus is found especially in tropical and subtropical regions of the world.
Ok, so how do I know I have Dengue?
If one day you wake up with a sudden high fever and extreme tiredness, intense headache behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, abdominal pain, rashes or minor bleeding from nose and gums.
While the description sounds frightening, the dengue fever symptoms affect everyone differently. They can range from mild, and can even go unnoticed, to very severe and potentially fatal.
Complications of dengue, which is usually associated with severe dengue, may include shock and haemorrhage and sometimes death.
The only way to confirm a dengue fever diagnosis is with a blood test. See a doctor immediately if you think you may have dengue fever. Early diagnosis is important to reduce the risk of complications and avoid further spread of the virus.
How is will my dengue illness be treated?
Currently, there is no specific vaccine or medication to prevent or treat the illness, where treatment is purely concerned with the relief of the symptoms.
- Having a lot of rest and adequate hydration is important.
- Paracetamol can be taken to reduce fever and relieve pain.
- Avoid aspirin in children under the age of 12 years.
- The use of Antibiotics is not indicated in the infection.
How can I prevent this from happening again?
The prevention of these illness requires control or eradication of the mosquitoes carrying the virus that causes dengue. These include;
- The eradication of mosquito breeding grounds such as stagnant water.
- Bite protection by using mosquito repellents when outdoors during the daytime.
- Wearing light-colour clothing and long sleeves and long pants when out of the house.
- Installing insect screens on doors and windows.
- The proper use of insecticides and the use of mosquito nets.
Who do I contact to educate myself in the future?
Education leads to prevention, people! So we have a couple of links to help you understand these disease and how you can avoid being a victim too.