Dengue is a rapidly spreading disease that has become a major global health threat in recent years. The virus affects millions of people around the world and results in hundreds of thousands of deaths each year
The global spread of dengue is a result of several factors, including the increased movement of people across international borders, the rapid growth of urban areas, and the decline in public health systems in many countries. Dengue is now found in over 100 countries and is endemic in regions of the world that have high levels of poverty, including South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
According to the World Health Organization, the Philippines is one of the countries in Southeast Asia with the highest burden of dengue. In 2019 alone, the country recorded over 200,000 cases and over 1,000 deaths due to the disease.
The situation of dengue in the Philippines is complicated by a number of factors, including poor sanitation and hygiene practices, limited access to safe drinking water, and inadequate health services. These factors have contributed to the spread of the disease and the difficulty in controlling outbreaks.
The disease is caused by a virus that is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. These mosquitoes breed in standing water and are most active during the hours of dawn and dusk. When an infected mosquito bites a person, it transmits the virus into their bloodstream. The virus then multiplies in the person’s body, causing symptoms of dengue to appear within 5-7 days.
WHAT IS ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE?
- Eliminate breeding sites: One of the most effective ways to reduce the mosquito population is to eliminate the places where they breed. This includes removing standing water from containers, such as buckets, flower pots, and tires, and regularly cleaning and chlorinating pools and other sources of standing water.
- Use insect repellents: Using insect repellents is a simple and effective way to prevent mosquito bites. Repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, or lemon eucalyptus oil are recommended.
- Wear protective clothing: Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, especially during the hours when mosquitoes are most active, can help reduce exposure to bites. Light-colored clothing is also recommended as it makes it easier to see mosquitoes.
- Use screens and air conditioning: Keeping windows and doors screened or using air conditioning can help prevent mosquitoes from entering homes.
- Support public health measures: Supporting public health measures, such as regular monitoring and treatment of standing water sources, and providing education about dengue prevention, is also important in reducing the spread of the disease.
There is currently no specific cure for dengue, and the best way to manage the disease is through supportive management. This involves treating the symptoms of dengue and preventing complications, such as dehydration and low blood pressure. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to monitor the patient’s condition.
Common symptoms of dengue include:
- High fever (40°C/104°F or higher)
- Severe headache
- Pain behind the eyes
- Muscle and joint pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
In some cases, individuals with dengue may also experience bleeding, including nosebleeds, gum bleeding, and easy bruising. In severe cases, dengue can can be life-threatening.
If you suspect you may have dengue, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Early recognition and treatment of dengue can reduce the risk of developing severe symptoms and complications. If you live in an area with a high incidence of dengue or have recently traveled to an area with a high incidence of dengue, it is also important to take steps to prevent mosquito bites, including wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent.
About The Author
Dr. Coco is a highly-educated and well-qualified primary care physician who graduated from the University of the Philippines Baguio with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. She completed her three-year residency training in Family Medicine at Brokenshire Medical Center. She passed her diplomate exams in Family Medicine, given by the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians in 2018.
Dr. Coco is dedicated to providing comprehensive and holistic care for her patients. She is a primary care physician who believes in delivering continuing comprehensive health care for all. To her, patients are not just a number as she takes time to analyse how she can improve their overall health every chance they can get.