Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne viral infection that is endemic to the Philippines. It affects people of all ages. Its severe form, dengue hemorrhagic fever, involves heavy bleeding and can be fatal.
Dengue has four strains, which means a person can be infected as many as four times in a lifetime. Each succeeding infection increases the chance of developing hemorrhagic fever.
Transmitted by the mosquitoes Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which commonly bite during the day, but may also bite at night. These mosquitoes lay eggs in clear and stagnant water (e.g., water in flower vases, clean rainwater collected in barrels, cans, or old rubber tires). Adult mosquitoes rest in dark places of the house. Mosquitoes can also become infected with the virus when they bite a person who has already been infected, and can thus spread the infection to other people.
• Sudden onset of high fever which may last from 2 to 7 days;
• Joint and muscle pain, pain behind the eyes, and/or headache;
• Feeling weak;
• Skin rashes;
• Nausea and vomiting, decreased appetite;
• Bleeding during hemorrhagic fever, which can manifest as nosebleeding, gum bleeding, vomiting of coffee-colored matter, dark-colored stools, or even just abdominal pain (as a sign of internal bleeding).
• Anyone with a fever lasting 2 or more days, especially fever that resolves momentarily but keeps returning, with or without any of the symptoms mentioned, should be brought to the nearest hospital.
• Adequate bed rest and fluid intake is required, but a patient should be assessed by a doctor first to determine the proper ways of rehydration.
• Paracetamol to control fever is advised.
Follow the 4-S against Dengue:
1. Search and Destroy Mosquito Habitats
• Cover water drums and pails to prevent water from accumulating in them.
• Replace water in flower vases at least once a week.
• Clean gutters from leaves and debris to prevent water from becoming stagnant.
• Collect and dispose all unusable tin cans, jars, bottles, and other items that can collect and hold water.
• Wear long pants and long-sleeved tops.
• Use mosquito repellant regularly.
3. Seek Early Consultation
• Consult a physician immediately if fever persists or keeps recurring after 2 days, and/or any of the other symptoms appear.
4. Say Yes to Fogging
• Only when there is an impending outbreak or a hotspot.