Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 14:14 WIB

Be alert! Dengue fever is making a comeback

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Jakarta, IO – Cases of dengue fever, known as “dengue hemorrhagic fever” or DBD, have emerged again in several regions in Indonesia. The West Java Health Service reported 4,637 cases of dengue fever from January to the third week of February 2024; 36 patients have died. Cases are dominated by patients in the pediatric age group. 

When suspicions arise, we must be aware of the early symptoms of dengue fever, before the disease develops and it is too late to save the patient. What are these symptoms? 

“Clinical symptoms include a fever of up to 40 degrees Celsius, pain in the back of the eyes – what is known as ‘retro-orbital’, nausea, vomiting, joint or spinal pain, red spots (or petechiae) on the skin – although these may not appear until the final stage of the disease, when one has good immunity and a limited viral load,” answered Dr. dr. Soroy Lardo, Sp.PD, KPTI, FINASIM, in an online press conference held by the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), Tuesday (27/2/2024). 

Soroy Lardo
Dr. dr. Soroy Lardo, Sp.PD, KPTI, FINASIM. (Source: MANDAYA HOSPITAL)

Three Critical Phases 

The internal medicine specialist and consultant for tropical infectious diseases from Mandaya Hospital Group reminded us of the importance of being aware of the critical phase in dengue fever patients. There are actually three clinical phases of dengue fever. 

The initial phase covers the first 1-3 days of a patient’s infection, when the dengue viral load is high and platelet levels decline. This condition has the potential to trigger blood viscosity, so that a patient’s need for fluids must be met. 

“The second one is called the ‘critical phase’, as the patient can go into shock or suffer internal bleeding, which can trigger organ dysfunction. In the final phase, once the critical period has passed, a patient is generally advised to rest,” he stated. 

Read: Takeda Accelerates Access To Its Dengue Vaccine Through ‘Make In India’ Manufacturing Partnership With Biological E. Limited

However, he warned that there are mothers who tend to “play doctor” and handle an illness themselves, when a child runs a fever, by giving them paracetamol and oral rehydration solution (ORS). “On the third day, when body temperature returns to normal, it seems like the child has recovered, even though they were actually entering a critical phase. The potential dangers of this critical phase should continue to be discussed, because if they are not handled properly, her child can die before getting to hospital,” he warned. 

Dengue fever is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, insects common in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. As the fastest-spreading mosquito-borne viral disease, about half of the world’s population is now at risk of dengue. In India and Southeast Asia, 1.3 billion people live in dengue-endemic areas, with Thailand, India, and Indonesia among some of the most highly endemic countries. A clean environment is the first step in preventing dengue fever, especially during this rainy season. (est)

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