Tag Archives: dengue strains

Tomorrow will be a much better day for us

After almost five days in the hospital the doctor who looks after my kids broke some good news to us this afternoon. My kids are on their way to recovery from dengue infection. My son’s platelet count has increased from 90 to 120 this morning, a good sign that he is recovering well. My daughter’s platelet count, on the other hand, has yet to reach the normal level, but all other lab tests conducted yesterday and today showed positive signs that she has passed the critical stage of dengue fever. The doctor has given them a clean bill of health and permission to go home. But not to get excited about their going home, the doctor still warns the kids not to engage in stressful activities like playing. They need a few more days rest before they can go back to school. They have a lot of catching up to do with their school lessons so they need to save their energy.

My kids have surpassed another sickness and we are grateful that they did not reach that life-threatening stage of dengue fever. Although, their hospitalization has exhausted our little savings, I believe there are more reasons to be thankful for and I know things will be much better for us tomorrow.

Should I worry about dengue again?

One day before my children (the middle kid is my niece) were hospitalized. We even attended my godson’s birthday party. Naomi is not feeling well, but Khalil managed to enjoy the party.

I admit that I’m paranoid. I can’t stand the sight of mosquito flying or lurking in the dim part of our house. It all started when my kids were hospitalized at the same time. They were confined for more than 5 days due to dengue fever. Their vital signs though they were up and about were regularly being monitored by nurses including their platelet count through blood samples extracted from them. Imagine the worry and and the inconvenience that we have to go through. We’re just thankful our kids didn’t suffer from any complication. So who wouldn’t get irked by the sight of mosquito?

The problem now lies in the fact that my kids are not yet spared from getting infected by dengue fever again. Why? The dengue has four strains (Types 1, 2, 3 and 4). One type could give you a life-long protection against the same strain, but not from the other remaining three. This means that a person could get all four types of the dengue virus in his lifetime. See? No matter how much Off Lotion we applied on our kids’ skin, they remain prone to mosquito bites.

From my dusty old clippings I found this information.

Type 2 is the predominant strain found in the Philippines. It can be virulent at a particular time in a particular place.

Each dengue strain has two to three cycle. Each type could circulate at one given period in a certain place.

Type 2 was responsible in the worst dengue outbreak that hit the country in 1998 since the first Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever was detected in 1953 by a group of doctors from the Philippine General Hospital. At least 40,000 cases were afflicted with Dengue Type 2 then.

Urbanization is partly being blamed for the surge of dengue cases worldwide.

In the absence of commercially available vaccine, the only primary intervention our country has right now is that experts are able to detect cases, treat them and institute preventive measures including the elimination of mosquito breeding sites.

Based from my experience, the timely consultation with my kids’ pediatrician has saved my kids from possible complication of dengue. We should never ignore a severe flu-like symptoms like these:

  • the sudden high fever for two to seven days
  • severe headache and pain behind the eyes
  • muscle and joints positive for tourniquet test
  • drop in white blood cell count

The above signs are just symptoms of the classical dengue that can be treated as an outpatient.

The more fatal one called Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) causes bleeding and shock happens, eventually leading to death.

The latest news about dengue indicates that most recorded patients are taken to the hospital in serious condition. They manifest the following danger signs more fatal than swine flu. Take note.

  • continuous bleeding
  • persistent abdominal pain and vomiting
  • excessive thirst
  • irritable
  • changes in mental status
  • weak and rapid pulse
  • cold and clammy skin (pinagpapawisan ng malamig)
  • oral cyanosis (nangingitim ang bibig)
  • hypotension (blood pressure less than 20 mg)
  • platelet count less than 100,000 per cubic millimeter
  • hematocrit count more than 20 percent than the normal count
  • prolonged bleeding time longer than five minutes
  • DHF is more serious in children bleeding symptoms usually occur after three to five days of fever

Source: personal interview with Dr. Eric Tayag, director of the National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health; Edna Lopez, Nurse VI, of the Public Health Surveillance of the DOH’s NEC.

Additional read: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dengue_fever