Recently, TV host Kat de Castro and I relive the stories and emotions when our kids fell ill with dengue. With dengue cases going up as much as 63% during the rainy season, this is a must-watch video for everyone.
Dengue fever is a viral illness spread by the dengue mosquito (Aedes Aegypti). This mosquito is found in many tropical countries around the world.
There are 4 types of the dengue virus that cause dengue fever – Dengue Type 1, 2, 3 and 4. People become immune to a particular type of dengue virus once they’ve had it, but can still get sick from the other types of dengue if exposed.
Catching different types of dengue, even years apart, increase the risk of developing severe dengue. Severe dengue causes bleeding and shock, and can be life threatening. There have been reported deaths from severe dengue.
It was a traumatic experience and as a nurse, I thought I already knew everything about dengue but when my son was diagnosed, I panicked and it feels like I forgot what I learned. I found myself asking, “Where did I go wrong?” and, “Why did I underestimate dengue affecting my family?” but I felt powerless over dengue because I can’t protect my kids round the clock especially when they are out, though I should have taken precautionary measures to avoid getting affected.
My son Niko was diagnosed with dengue twice last year. The first one was sometime July. We suspected that he was bitten by a mosquito carrying dengue virus in the cinema-- it really got us thinking about how he got sick, because if it was in our house then we should do something about it. We informed the barangay and also asked the school, though no one had yet reported cases of dengue. We had watched a movie on Saturday, then Tuesday morning before he went to school he had a sudden high fever and headache, which instantly got me worried because of the ongoing dengue epidemic. He had symptoms of dengue so I took him right away to the doctor for a check-up and the doctor instructed me to wait for three days after the fever began so we can go to the lab and to get a CBC and Dengue Duo test.
I brought my son back to the hospital for CBC and Dengue Duo test on the third day of the fever. He was confined in the hospital when the result showed positive and his platelet count was low.
It was difficult seeing my son sick with dengue, which has no treatment other than plenty of fluids and prayers. They had to monitor the platelet counts, fluid intake and the urine output and avoid colored drink and foods (red and black) as they are observing the color of the stool and certain colored foods may change the outcome. His platelet count dropped, so we tried all remedies from plant of tawa-tawa to camote tops. The doctor advised us not to give this to him but against the doctor’s order, we still tried. He didn’t like the taste but I was pushing him to take it.
The rashes on his skin became more visible on the 6th and 7th day. They are itchy like ants biting him so imagine how hard it was. We applied Calamine Lotion which helps a little bit with the uncomfortable itching.
He still had the mild symptoms since he did not have any of the warning signs like loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding and didn't need a blood transfusion so thank God!
Just when I thought that it wouldn’t happen again, he was diagnosed with dengue fever again last November and almost the same story transpired—he came home with a high fever, headache and flushed skin, so he went for a CBC and Dengue duo test. The second time, however, we were instructed to just do a home treatment and to provide plenty of water and to take him the hospital immediately if he develop signs of bleeding, severe pain in the stomach, and persistent vomiting as these are signs of the more serious dengue hemorrhagic.
Never underestimate dengue. Dengue can be acquired anytime and there is no vaccine or specific treatment for dengue fever. DO not be complacent if your child has fever. When someone starts having fever these days, it may be a case of dengue fever as the number of cases is increasing and is causing fatalities. If you think you or child is infected, see a doctor right away.
Take precautionary measures because an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I pray that nobody will experience what we had to go through.
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