Dengue fever during the rains

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dr. Robert Sinto, Sp.PD, K-PTI
dr. Robert Sinto, Sp.PD, K-PTI. (Source: CAROLUS HOSPITAL)

Jakarta, IO – 15 June is ASEAN “Dengue Fever Day”. It was declared because multiple ASEAN countries make up the tropical “dengue virus belt”. The fact is that 390 million cases of this viral infection caused by Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictu, and Aedes scutellaris mosquitoes are reported worldwide. The incidence of dengue increased eightfold within the past two decades. No fewer than 71,000 cases were found in Indonesia per July 2020, with a mortality rate of 10%-20%. This is a bitter pill to swallow, because mortality is less than 1% if the disease is caught and treated early. 

“The mosquitoes that cause dengue fever live in a tropical zone. The ASEAN Dengue Fever Day is commemorated as part of the prevention and anticipation effort to warn travelers who are going to visit countries where the disease is endemic. The reverse is also true: travelers who are returning from endemic countries can be handled properly if their illness suddenly appears while they are in a non-endemic country,” said dr. Robert Sinto, Sp.PD, K-PTI, internal diseases specialist and tropical diseases and infections consultant, in the “Let’s Be Aware of Dengue Fever” live IG session held on Wednesday (15/6/2022). 

Like any other viral diseases, dengue fever may also heal by itself. Its most common initial symptom is the onset of a sudden high fever. For starters, bring the fever down, using fever reducers, and compress the forehead and folds of the body (armpits, base of thighs) with cool water. However, in many cases, it is very hard to differentiate dengue fever from Covid-19 during the pandemic. Therefore, if the fever persists for three days, perform both the nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) test and the antigen test to determine whether it’s dengue virus or new Coronavirus.