’tis the rainy season and incidence of dengue fever, the mosquito-spread viral infection, is once again expected to rise. According to records, there were 200,415 cases in the Philippines in 2015 and the numbers are increasing. Should we be scared?
According to experts in the Allied Against Dengue forum organized recently by GlaxoSmithKline, there’s good news and it’s the fact that dengue can be managed at home now if the symptoms are less severe and strict monitoring of the patient is in place.
I was certainly relieved to know this because I thought dengue spelled doom for whoever got it. Thankfully, me and my children have been spared and it’s something we don’t want to ever happen to us, God willing. In the meantime, am glad I am being educated because knowledge is indeed power when it comes to dengue prevention.
Health Undersecretary Dr. Enrique Tayag said people should not resort to superstition or self-medication when treating dengue. For example, aspirin or ibuprofen should never be used because it aggravates the gastritis or bleeding. Only paracetamol (like Calpol) should be resorted to when treating fever at home.
Allied Against Dengue is a nationwide education campaign led by DOH and GSK in cooperation with some groups like the Philippine Pharmacists Association (PPHA), Mercury Drug Corporation, SmartParenting.com.ph and CNN Philippines.
Singer-actress Jolina Magdangal is the face of the campaign.
During the launch of AAD at the Manila Peninsula last July 18, Jolina is joined by (from left) GSK General Manager Heather Pelier, Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, Dr. Sally Gatchalian, Vice President of the Philippine Pediatrics Society and DOH Undersecretary Dr. Enrique Tayag.
In the next few months, the group is going to embark on a few initiatives like community education where it aims to distribute 15,000 leaflets to 1,000 medical practitioners as well as 50,000 DOH primers to at least 5 public schools in dengue hotspots in Metro Manila. Train-the-trainers will also be implemented along with Continuous Pharmacy Education (CPE) Program targeting 200 pharmacists.
Here’s some important facts parents need to know about treating dengue –
Home care is recommended if the patient has less severe symptoms of dengue, but daily follow-ups with a competent doctor should still be done.
Home care consists of giving the dengue patient enough bed rest and giving them plenty of fluids. If he or she has fever, a lukewarm bath with a sponge is advised along with the intake of paracetamol (never aspirin).
Signs of severe dengue include severe abdominal pain, bleeding nose & gums,persistent vomiting with or without blood, seizures, difficulty breathing, pallor and cold or clammy hands and feet.
The symptoms usually appear 3 to 7 days after the first signs.In cases of severe infection, medical attention is required immediately, particularly during the first 24 to 48 hours to avoid complications.
For more information on Allied Against Dengue and how to be an ally, contact 1800-14441- 0884/ 1800-8908- 8275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.