Thursday, 5 February 2009

Things I Didn't Know About Dengue

With the infinite resources from the Interweb, one would be misled into thinking, "Who needs to see a doctor when I can diagnose myself online??"

Big mistake.

My mom has suspected dengue, and despite all the literature published (and I suspect, REHASHED without further research on the damn journalists' part) in the newspapers and the multitude of consumer medical sites online, I still didn't know enough about this affliction to be useful to my mom.

All information is vague and states the same main symptoms : Constant high fever, diahorrea, joint and muscle pain, vomiting, rashes. If you have all of these, or as helpfully stated by the recent Malaysian papers "any other weird symptoms" - get your blood checked by a doctor and get admitted to hospital. WTF?!

If I feel nausea due to the stupidity radiating from the idiot who made that statement, can I count that as a "WEIRD" symptom?!? Qualify and quantify, motherfucker!!

Jeez, if the Health Ministry is so worried about the doubling of dengue cases vs 2008, why can't they release MORE information about it so people can be educated and know exactly what to do, in case they don't have ALL of the symptoms above?

A kind doctor was patient enough to explain to me the details of the affliction, and there's a lot I wasn't aware of. I'm shocked because it's so important to know these things to save lives!

Apparently all the doctors know these things, but the public doesn't know that they don't know (because they thought all the half-assed information provided was all there was to know about Dengue).

Did you know that majority of the Dengue fatalities are due to SHOCK?

The type of Dengue that causes Hemorrhagic Fever is less common, although that's the only one people are aware of and look for symptoms of. WTF.

Just because you don't have rashes and red spots doesn't mean you're safe and can sit around the house going about your day as usual.


- Loss of appetite. While this is a much publicised symptom, a lot of people misunderstand it. In my experience, it's not because you don't WANT to eat, but because everything tastes like shit! The most delicious porridge is bitter, and you just can't swallow. This is because Dengue causes some form of Hepatitis (I don't know which one), which in turn affects your appetite and taste buds. Ya. Betcha didn't know that. They should change this to Loss Of Tastebuds.

- Swelling of the extremeties. Seems that the fluids from the blood tend to drain to the tissue (thus, causing the swelling), and if you don't address by hydrating the patient or attaching them to an IV drip - the patient goes into shock, which can also kill them if treatment is not received on time. My mom has noticed that all her friends who had Dengue complained of numbness or pain in the soles of the feet.

- Gastritis. You don't necessarily have to had suffered from gastric pains before, you'll feel it when you have Dengue. I never knew the virus caused this! I just thought my mom was hungry from not eating for so many days.

- Drop in blood pressure. Didn't get a chance to find out the why of this, but it's a sure sign you need to be admitted.


- Dengue takes about 4 days to incubate or whatever. So if you have a blood test earlier than that, your platelet count may not have had enough time to drop below 150 and the Dengue antibodies would not yet be present in your body.

- Recovering from the high fever doesn't mean you're safe. Seems the virus is still there, waiting to kill you off. Many people make the mistake of assuming they're ok because the fever had abated after 3 - 4 days. Dengue needs about 10 days to run it's course through their system. They do not bother to check their blood, nor check themselves into a hospital. And that's when the trouble starts.

No comments: