The common symptoms of dengue fever is almost the same with that of the flu which include a high fever that is accompanied by headache, body ache, sore throat and skin rashes. In some cases, other symptoms that accompanied the common symptoms include itching, nausea, vomiting. While in severe cases wherein an immediate emergency is needed includes gall bladder or liver inflammation, oxygen deficiency in the brain, abdominal pain and black stools that can be associated with internal bleeding, as well as bleeding from the nose, skin or mouth. The last set of symptoms suggests that the disease is alreadyon its full-blown and needs immediate medical attention it now becomes a life and death situation.
Even if the disease had been known for over 200 years already, there had been no medical breakthrough in term of dengue vaccines that can prevent the disease. Although, recent studies suggests of some vaccines tested are underway which gives hope to many about the first line of defense against this deadly disease. But it will take some time before if will be fully available to the whole population. But one should not be comfortable if the first set of symptoms above is felt. One should immediately seek medical attention as you will be likely to recover if the disease is diagnosed at its early stage. The victim is at its most vulnerable during the 3rd to 7th day of illness. During this period, the patient’s platelets may drop drastically resulting to internal bleeding.
Once diagnose, doctors will closely monitors the platelet count of the patient taking samples every now and then. Once the platelets goes down to an alarming count (less that 50,000) the doctors will require a platelet transfusion. During this stage, the patient may suffer spontaneous bleeding since the platelets are now not enough to stop it. Typical, a normal platelet countis between 150,000 – 400,000 platelets be microliter of blood. Once the platelets falls below 50,000, the risk of bleeding is very high. The medical term used for this condition is called a “thrombocytopenia”. And once the platelet falls to 10,000, spontaneous bleeding occurs. Therefore, platelet transfusion is necessary to bring up the count to the normal level.
The condition above (were platelet counts drops) is far serious form of dengue disease which is called “dengue hemorrhagic fever” (DHF). Aside from the above severe symptoms, the patient may result to a “dengue shock syndrome” which is accompanied by the collapse of blood vessels. If treatment is not available, this condition will result to the patient’s death. About 10% of all patients that falls into this condition die.
To date, the only way we can prevent this disease is through prevention. There had been many ways to prevent contacting this disease particularly destroying its main carrier – mosquitoes. Some alternative solution is to prevent yourself or any member of your family from bitten. Some includes:
- The use of mosquito repellants
- Have your house protected with screens keep mosquito from entering
- Wearing of long sleeved clothes including long socks
- Use of mosquito netting if your house in not protected with screens
- Avoid crowded places if you already knew that there are cases of dengue outbreaks
- Drain out and remove any materials that can collect water during rainy season
- Take a lot of fluids and keep your health at optimum level. A healthy immune system is all it takes to fight the first virus infections.