Dengue menace: Doctors for immediate consultation upon fever

Jakia Ahmed
Published : 07:30, Jul 20, 2019 | Updated : 16:13, Jul 20, 2019

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito, a carrier of dengue and chikungunya. REUTERS/FILE PHOTODengue fever has become almost rampant in the country with hundreds being attacked every day. Up until now, extremely high fever, rashes, vomiting tendencies used to be considered symptoms of the fever but now doctors recommend going to them immediately when one comes down with a fever.
Doctors said that dengue fever has taken a formidable turn as this time the heart, kidneys and brain are being affected sending the patient into shock. They said that most dengue victims have lost their lives to ‘dengue shock syndrome.’
According to doctors, there has been a definite rise in the number of dengue patients this year around and children are more at risk.
Hence they recommend consulting a physician immediately when someone contracts a fever instead of waiting the standard three days.
Thirty-seven-year-old Mahfuzur Rahman is undergoing treatment for dengue at a private hospital in Dhaka.
He has been down with fever since Wednesday last week and went to Government Employee Welfare Hospital on Saturday when the fever wouldn’t go down. However, he wasn’t admitted there and returned home.
Mahfuzur does not remember anything after returning home and opened his eyes in a private hospital in Green Road where he has been receiving treatment ever since.
Old Dhaka’s thirty-two-year-old Lucky Akhter was diagnosed with dengue on Jul 5 and checked into a private hospital in Dhaka.
“The fever has subsided but I still have severe headache and pain in my eyes and whole body accompanied by vomiting,” she told Bangla Tribune.
Lucky added that she couldn’t keep down any food she took and suffered from internal bleeding as well as peeling skin.
She said that she got admitted at the private hospital after National Medical College Hospital failed to provide her with proper treatment.
“Not only me, both my son and daughter have come down with dengue,” she said and added that her daughter who is in the fourth-grade has returned home after being cured but her son who is in the 10th grade is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the same hospital.
Meanwhile, Lucky’s husband SM Monir Hossain, an engineer by profession said that their sufferings have increased as adequate steps are not being taken.
According to the Directorate of Health’s emergency operations and control room statistics 201 people were admitted to government hospitals on Jul 18 alone.
Moreover, a total of 1,207 people have been admitted to government and private hospitals.
Although government statistics show that as of Jul 18, five people have died, several specialists said that the number actually stands at 12.
The control room data shows that 546 people took treatment at various hospitals across the country from Jan 1 amongst whom 334 have been released.
On the symptoms of dengue, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Medical Medicine Department Dean Professor ABM Abdullah said this time around there are no symptoms such as rashes or severe pain in the body.
“Since the symptoms are not the same, people are delaying consulting a physician which has been even more detrimental,” he told Bangla Tribune.
He added that most patients are suffering from dengue shock syndrome this time and in addition to seeking medical help as soon as possible, he recommended drinking fluids and not taking any pain killers other than Paracetamols.
Preventive Medicine Specialist Dr Lelin Chowdhury said that back in the 2000s when dengue hit, it was of two types: dengue classical and dengue hemorrhagic.
He said that as dengue classical included bone breaking pain and rashes as symptoms, it earned the name bone breaking fever. Meanwhile, dengue hemorrhagic caused steady depletion of platelets and PCV.
“This time, however, the symptoms have changed. This time the temperature does not rise to 104 or 105 Fahrenheit,” he said.
He added that since the pain isn’t as bad and temperatures don’t go above a 101 or 102, people are mistaking it for regular fever.
Dr Lelin said that this time patients are suffering from dengue shock syndrome and classical dengue the most.
“There is no sign of a rash. Maybe a little headache or pain in the body, but then they suddenly go into shock,” he said.
Responding to queries on what ‘shock’ is, he said that pulse and heart rate goes up while blood pressure goes down accompanied by dehydration.
He said that since the symptoms are no longer same, people delay in seeking medical help.
He added that the shock syndrome often causes the lungs and stomach to retain excessive water and that the death rate is also higher this year.