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Health Watch

Dengue Fever -

Dengue is the most common mosquito borne viral disease of humans that in recent years has become a major national and international public health concern. Globally, 2.5 billion people live in areas where dengue viruses can be transmitted.

Perspective on Dengue

    * Man develops disease after 3-14 days (usually 4-7 days) of being bitten by an infective mosquito.
    * All age group & both sexes can be affected.
    * It occurs in two forms: Dengue Fever and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) / Dengue Shock Syndrome.
    * Dengue Fever is a Flu-like illness
    * Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) is a more severe form of disease, which can lead to death.
    * Person suspected of having dengue fever must see a doctor at once.

Signs and Symptoms of Dengue Fever

   1. Abrupt onset of high fever
   2. Severe frontal headache
   3. Pain behind the eyes (retero-orbital pain) which worsen with eye movements
   4. Muscle and joint pains
   5. Loss of sense of taste and appetite
   6. Measles like rash over chest and upper limbs
   7. Nausea and vomiting
   8. Minor hemorrhagic manifestation like petechae, bleeding from nose or gums may occur.
   9. Low Platelet count

Preventive Measures from Dengue Infection

   1. Remove and clean areas where stagnant water is apparent.
   2. Use aerosol spray / Insect repellant spray (safe water-base formula) to prospective areas.
   3. Apply mosquito repellant lotion or spray.
   4. When entering a suspected area of mosquito infestation, wear clothes that do not expose arms and legs. (e.g. Pants and Shirt with sleeves)
   5. Be aware of Health campaigns in local areas for additional precautions.

Medical and Laboratory Procedures for Dengue Patients.

    * Complete Blood Count (CBC)
    * Platelet Count
    * Dengue NS1 Ag (NOW AVAILABLE IN HI-PRECISION)
          o Dengue NS1 antigen Detection
          o Positive Result as early as Day 1 of fever
          o Detection of all 4 Dengue serotypes

Nutrition and Diet Recommendations for Dengue Patients.

Normally, Physicians and Clinical Dietitians would suggest patients to continue Normal Diet or Diet as Tolerated regime. This is to foster the wasting of nutrient which the patient unconsciously lose during his/her sickness.

A No Dark Colored Food Diet (NDCF) or Hemoglobin free diet is also advice to patients which will undergo fecalysis exam to determine Blood Occult in the stools. A meat free diet is given for three (3) days prior to stool collection.

Highly colored foods, dark green leafy vegetables and Iron supplements are avoided as these tend to interfere with the test.

Foods that are safe to eat on NDCF diet regime.

    * Cheese
    * Milk
    * Eggs
    * Non-Leafy Vegetables
    * Refined Cereals
    * Fruits and Fruit Juices

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