Coping with Dengue Fever
Now that my daughter is recovering well, I would like to share some of my personal experience with all of you so that you can advise the people in your lives if you come across dengue.
- First signs of symptom : Super high grade fever (40 degrees) that won’t go away. Fever will last for around 3 – 4 days. The patient will feel weak in the body (joints and body aches). You should first send to the GP.
- As dengue virus will not show up immediately, patients will be advised to go for blood test the next day, i.e. 24 hours after fever first appears. At this moment, it is too early to have rashes. Doctor will prescribe paracetemol to bring down fever. But the key is to drink lots of fluids as the body loses fluids easily from the fever. Failure to hydrate is dangerous. So any form of fluids is important. Kiwi +apple juice highly recommended at his juncture since patient will lose all appetite.
- Once dengue is confirmed, the next step will be to see a patient’s blood platelet count. Normal pp has a platelet count of 140 -400 plus. Dengue virus affects the blood plasma which leads to plasma leakage, i.e. platelet will drop. At this point, close monitoring is crucial and continue to drink lots of fluids to replenish loss of blood+ water. Take blood test every 24 hours – private hospital will only admit patients with platelet below 60, govt. hospital is below 40. At this point, patient will feel dizzy, faint and very weak. Only thing to do is to drink loads of fluids and can start introducing the Chinese medical cure – 3 frogs with young bitter gourd double boil for 3 hours into soup (do not add water for the soup, only natural juice from the ingredients only).
- Between Day 3 – Day 7 – Fever will slowly subside but blood platelet will continue to drop. For some pp, this is the time they get hospitalised while some stronger ones will have their platelet drop but still within manageable range. During this period, the body will have severe dehydration although no more fever. Rashes will appear but depending on each individual. Patients are advised to be in bed as some may fall down as a result of giddiness. The doctor will again advise drinking loads of fluids. Some even requires intravenous drip as they are very dehydrated. Kiwi juice and frog soup should continue during this critical period as well. Patient must eat and drink, else platelet will drop even more.
- The tipping point – platelet increase is around Day 8 when the plasma stops leaking and the platelet goes up. This is the indication that the patient is recovering and out of the danger zone.
Please note that the days indicated above are purely based on my daughter’s case and may be different for each individual case.
Most dengue cases do not lead to death. The ones that lead to death are called Dengue Shock Syndrome whereby the body organs fail as a result of the dengue virus. With special care and attention, the patient will be nursed to health.
The dengue virus will attack the blood platelets and the body will develop enough immunity to fight it. There are 4 strains of dengue in Singapore, once you get one strain you will only be immune to that one strain and not the other 3.