Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Symptoms of Dengue

Dengue hemorrhagic fever aka Dengue is an acute infectious disease brought about by the Aedes aegypti, a day-biting mosquito. These mosquitoes can be easily distinguished as it is larger in size and have black and white stripes on its body, so it is sometimes called tiger mosquitoes.

Because of the alarming Dengue outbreak here in the Philippines and my experience last week, I decided post a list of early signs of Dengue.

Symptoms appear 3—14 days after the infective bite. When someone has dengue, he will show the following symptoms, according to the DOH:

* sudden onset of high fever that may last 2 to 7 days
* joint and muscle pain and pain behind the eyes
* weakness
* skin rashes that usually appears 3 to 4 days after the start of the fever
* nosebleeding when fever starts to subside
* abdominal pain
* nausea, vomiting of coffee-colored matter
* loss of appetite
* dark-colored stools

When a person is infected, physical examination may show low blood pressure, skin rashes, sore throat, rapid pulse, swollen glands, and enlarged liver.

The signs to watch for are bleeding which easily causes bruising, blood spots in the skin, spitting of blood, blood in the stool, gum bleeding, and nosebleeding.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Suspect: Dengue

Philippines - THE Department of Health has recorded 77,012 dengue cases from January to September 4, 2010. The DOH also believes that cases could rise to 100,000 before the yearend. :( Such an alarming news... Last week I almost had my share for this outbreak... almost!

September 13, Monday when I had fever and severe cough; Tuesday night I had joint and muscle pain and experienced weakness; Wednesday fever again. So by Thursday, we decided to get a laboratory and have my CBC checked. My platelet was down to 147 which is below the normal count 150 -240++. Suspecting it was dengue, I was admitted right away to monitor my blood and for other symptoms of it. Dextrose was injected in my right hand, X-rays for my productive coughing, CBC test was done every 12 hours, blood pressure and body temperature was monitored ever 3-4 hours. I was advised to drink lots of water and avoid eating dark foods. My platelet count was unstable from 147, 138, 162 and 130. Though for the entire 3 days and 2 nights of my confinement, I never had fever, abdominal pain and bleeding. Finally the doctor released me last September 18, Saturday since they had not seen any more symptoms of Dengue in me. My medical certificate states that I had acute bronchitis and not the suspected dengue. Thanked God!

This circumstance as terrible as it is, taught me a lot. More than knowing "God is in control" by theory, I learned it by the heart and by experiencing it first hand. He taught me humility. I learned to let go and let God, trusting Him fully. God is sovereign... He knows perfectly how to comfort His children... During one of my quiet moments in the hospital, He lead me to Jeremiah, assuring me of His love and comfort.

"I promise to be with you and keep you safe, so don't be afraid." --Jeremiah 1:8

"My power will make you strong like a fortress..." --Jeremiah 1:18 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Not to mention the love, concern and prayers of my family, Christian friends, and colleagues that gives me all the reason to get well. God is good! More than physical healing, he made my soul well.