Monday , November 29 2021

Dengue signal: Here's how to protect yourself from deadly disease


The alarming increase in the number of dengue cases in the Philippines has prompted the Ministry of Health to declare a national alert. From January to July this year, the number of dengue cases reached 115,986. This is 83% more than the same period in 2018. There are also 491 reported deaths.

More about disease prevention:

According to a DOH report, several regions have exceeded the "threshold of the epidemic" – MIMAROPA (Region IV-B), Western Visai (Region VI), Central Hangai (Region VII) and northern Mindanao (Region X). Meanwhile, the following areas are closely monitored due to the increasing incidence of dengue cases – Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, CALABARZON, Bicol, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Cordillera Administrative Region.

We talked to Dr. Ryan Lorin, an expert on infectious diseases at the Medical Center of St. Luke, for some answers.

What causes the jump in dengue cases?

Old mosquitoes have a short life, they only live for two to four weeks. But their eggs remain viable for one year; their lives continue even during the dry season. When it rains, the eggs are resuming their life cycle, and mosquitoes put new eggs. There is an increase in dengue cases during the rainy season, as mosquitoes multiply rapidly during these months.

The main cause of death in dengue is late recognition. Photo from news from ABS-CBN

There are some regions that have already declared a dengue outbreak. What makes an area more predisposed?

Places where there is a lot of stagnant, dirty water, canals or waterways, those with abandoned or unsupported houses or structures are more prone to become mosquitoes breeding grounds with dengue. The cleanliness of the environment is a big factor. The infection also spreads easily in densely populated areas.

Are we sure of dengue in our homes?

A common misconception is that we can only be bitten by mosquitoes carrying dengue, especially in dirty places. The fact is that these insects can breed indoors and outdoors – where there is stagnant water. If you store water – as is the case in places where there is a water break – make sure the containers are covered. It is also important that the channels are kept around your homes clean.

Can dengue infection spread from person to person?

Dengue is spread by biting from the female mosquito (Aedes aegypti). The mosquito is infected when it takes the blood of a person infected with the virus. In about a week the mosquito can deliver the virus while biting a healthy man. The virus is not transmitted directly from person to person.

Is it possible to get infected more than once?

Yes. In fact, a second, third or fourth infection may have more adverse effects on the patient. If you previously had dengue, your immune system tends to remember this. So when you get the virus back, your body will fight well, but it can be bad for your condition because your immune system will react too much.

Who are more likely to suffer from heavy dengue?

Children are more likely to get infected because they usually go out to play in the streets where mosquitoes may be. Children under the age of 6 years are more prone to low immunity than adults. Unprotected people are also susceptible to heavy dengue.

What happens when you get infected by dengue?

The infection has three phases: a febrile phase, a critical phase and a recovery phase. The febrile phase usually lasts five to seven days. At this point, you have fever, headache, eye pain, vomiting, pain in the body, muscle aches, joint pain, malaise – a feeling of general discomfort, anxiety or pain – and loss of appetite.

The critical phase overlaps with the later phase of the febrile phase. This happens around day three to day five. It's about 48 hours before and after the fever disappears. Fever begins to decrease, the patient becomes better and the platelets begin to decrease. There are warning signs: the patient feels lethargic or restless, severe vomiting, severe abdominal pain, bleeding, rash, low blood pressure. During this phase, organ failure may occur. However, only a small percentage of dengue cases – about five percent – lead to organ failure. The usual course is after a fever, there is a recovery period. Fever disappears, you feel better.

The best measure to prevent dengue is cleanliness of the environment. Regi Adosto, News from ABS-CBN

How does the body recover?

There are no medications to reverse the course of dengue. The main form of treatment is essentially hydration or drinking water. This is only to make sure you maintain your blood pressure, adequate urine output, and that you do not dehydrate. Take paracetamol for the fever and eat as much as possible and have enough rest.

What are the necessary tests for an accurate diagnosis?

There are two key tests and the type of test to be obtained depends on the stage of the disease. During the febrile phase, you must get a Dengue NS1 antigen test that detects the virus component. About four to five days during which the fever is gone, you need to get Dengue IgM / IgG tests that detect antibodies that develop in the body in response to the infection. It is important to know what type of test you should take, because if you take the wrong one can produce a false negative result; you think you have no dengue.

How much do these tests cost?

Around P2,000 to P5,000 for each test. Most hospitals are able to provide them.

Can the taking of vitamins or supplements protect us from dengue?

The best measure to prevent dengue is cleanliness of the environment. Vitamins can help strengthen the immune system, but not immediately. There will be no immediate effect.

Can Anti-Mosquito Lotions Protect Us?

Mosquito moss lotions containing DEET – looking for diethyltoluamide on the label – can repel mosquitoes carrying Dengue.

What should we do if there are cases in our neighborhood?

Keep the environment clean, be careful about any dengue news in the neighborhood so you can take precautions properly. If there is any suspicion of dengue, especially in young children, consult with him immediately. The main cause of dengue morbidity and mortality is the late recognition of the disease.

Similarly, DOH emphasizes that the most effective way to prevent dengue is the 4S strategy – searching for and destroying mosquito breeding sites, self-defense measures such as long sleeves and insect repellents. disease, and say "yes" to blur if there is an outbreak.

To contact Dr. Llorin, visit call 789-7700 local 7108

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