Watch Out For Dengue During Rainy Season
Thailand’s rainy season, running from May through September, is also the high risk period for dengue fever, a potentially serious condition most prevalent in tropical countries.
According to Director of Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, IRIN News reported in June that “health experts are warning this could be the largest-ever epidemic.” The news organization quoted Pornthep Siriwanarangsun, director of Thailand’s Department of Disease Control, as saying, “This year, we expect 150,000 to 200,000 cases.”
Dengue is carried by the Aedes mosquito, which contracts the virus when biting an infected person. Those who have the disease cannot pass it to other people; a person has to be bitten in order to get the virus. According to the U.S.’ Center for Disease Control, 100 million people are infected each year. The warm, wet climate during Thailand’s rainy season makes a fertile environment in which mosquitos can breed.
The government has cautioned people to clear areas of standing water, particularly in schools, which provide breeding grounds for mosquitos. They have also encouraged local governments to establish incentives for people to stay on top of spots in their homes that could provide opportunities for mosquitos to breed, removing standing water in old pots and receptacles that collect water.
If you suspect you might have dengue, it’s important to see a doctor right away to begin treatment and see how far along the disease is. Symptoms include fever, bleeding gums or nose, nausea, headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and/or joint pain and a rash. Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms should consider seeing a doctor, even if only to rule out dengue. There is no vaccine and treatments vary, usually including paracetamol or another fever or pain reducer.
Symptoms of Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever is 5-8 days after catching the virus, the patient will suddenly develop acute febrile illness lasting 2-7 days, progressing to severe disease during defervescence, and ending in a convalescent phase.
3 Stages of DHF
- Fever: The patient will suddenly develop a raging fever with a body temperature often over 38.5 Celsius. In many cases, especially in children, the patient will also have convulsions. Although the patient will not have a running nose or cough, rashes may develop and there may be bleeding from the skin.
- The Critical Period / Shock: 1 out of every 3 cases of DHF experience blood circulatory problem, which coincides with a sudden lowering of the fever. In these cases, the patient will quickly go into a shock-like state. Without treatment within 12-24 hours, the patient may die from shock and/or bleeding.
- Recovery: Patients who do not reach the shock-like state will make a speedy recovery. However, patients who go into the shock-like state can recover within 2–3 days as long as they are treated in a timely and proper manner.
Warning: Visit your doctor immediately if you suddenly become exhausted, vomit repeatedly, vomit blood, pass black stool, suffer from severe stomachache near the cartilage or lower-right of the abdomen, sweat profusely, and experience a slow pulse rate.
Treatment: There is currently no anti-dengue fever vaccine available. The only treatment is to treat the symptoms and take very good care of the patient during the critical stage, which is during the 24th–48th hours until the fever subsides.