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It's Dengue Season Again!
Saturday, July 29, 2006

Every year during the months of June to August, its rainy season here in the Philippines. Cases of dengue increase so that most parents panic whenever a child in the family becomes febrile. These children are often rushed to the hospital for fear of its potentially deadly complications. They stay in the hospital just so they can be observed well. This fear lead to overcrowding in most hospitals.

Just a few days ago during the typhoon Glenda, my two kids had high grade fever for 2 days. Just like other parents I also had fears that they might catch Dengue. But since we are doctors, my husband and I took turns giving medications, monitoring the fever, and looking for a rash. We had two sleepless nights. It's really very difficult when children get sick.

There are 4 serotypes of the virus which causes Dengue fever. We have DEN-1, DEN-2, DEN-3, and DEN-4. Infection of one serotype provides lifetime immunity to that particular serotype which caused the infection. Since we have four serotypes, a person can have more than one dengue infection.

The only means of prevention from this infection is by proper environmental sanitation. The causative organism thrives in stagnant water. Regular scrubbing of flower vases, cleaning of water containers, removing cans, plastics, or any container in the backyard where the rainwater can accumulate are some of the ways of combatting the disease.

This disease is not new to Filipinos. But there is still a need for education campaign regarding dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. As I was in the Land Transporation Office yesterday, I overheard some mothers talking about the disease. One mother said that she need not worry anymore because her son had the disease last year. The other mother said that in order for her daughter not to get infected, she had already given her lots of multivitamins.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 3:09 PM  
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Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
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