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Oct 30, 2014

Healthy Living Looks at Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

Over the past few months, there has been an increased attention on viral infections like Ebola and Chikungunya; but, there is one viral menace that is sweeping across the nation and sending many to the hospitals on a weekly basis. Tonight on Healthy Living, we look at the more serious complication of dengue: the dengue hemorrhagic fever.

 

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting
There are literally hundreds of Belizeans that have been infected by dengue fever since the beginning of the year. This is actually quite normal for the country; Belize City and Corozal are the two areas that report the majority of cases of dengue for this year.

 

Daniel Godinez, Internist

Daniel Godinez


“Talking about dengue which is also a viral infection and is endemic of Belize – which means it is always present here. We do have this virus that infects you that can take anything from five to seven days to create a defensive response to get rid of the virus.  Once it enters your body it runs through your blood to your different organs including the lover the kidney the brain, your muscles your bones, almost everywhere. That is what causes the symptoms that dengue is known for: the fever, the headaches, severe pains in your muscles and bones. Dengue is called breaking bones disease for that reason. Most virus infections don’t have specific treatment.  So in reality, most of the time whenever a virus infects you and cause disease we end up treating just the symptoms. And so it so your body really that needs time to do the healing.   This response which actually takes between three to seven days will be the one that eventually rids itself of the virus.”

 

This year specifically, there have been an unusually high number of Dengue Hemorrhagic cases recorded. While, classic dengue can be notoriously painful, dengue hemorrhagic is considered a very serious condition.

 

Daniel Godinez

“The dengue that gives you headaches pain is what we call classic dengue. Sometimes the same virus that causes the classic dengue can affect certain cells in your body that helps to clot your blood. These little cells are called platelets and when the platelets are damaged or destroyed then you can develop dengue hemorrhagic.”

 

Once you’ve been diagnosed with classic dengue you should be vigilant in looking for signs of hemorrhagic; especially within 5 days of experiencing symptoms.

 

Daniel Godinez

“Once the mosquito bites you, from that moment until you start having symptoms is one to seven days we call that the incubation period. We know from experience that if a person develop hemorrhagic dengue, the platelets will come at its lowest point between fifth and the seventh day. At that point are you still having severe symptoms? Usually yes, the thing with dengue is that after those five to seven days most of the symptoms start to disappear. So by that time you start feeling better but you can still have your platelets at a lower level.  All over the world we know that patients who develop hemorrhagic dengue can die from that. Fortunately in Belize, we haven’t seen that happen too frequently but the potential of being a lethal disease is there. Why? Well if you have a very low platelet count, you can bleed from anywhere and that can be internal bleeding or skin bleeding and that bleeding can lead to organ failure and the patient can die.”

 

Since you cannot predict who will develop dengue hemorrhagic; its best to check in with a doctor one you experience symptoms of dengue.

 

Daniel Godinez

“If a patient has fever, pains or headache for more than twenty-four hours should go to any health center or clinic to be checked to do test and especially to check those platelet levels. If any person has dengue they should be looking for bleeding anywhere, skin is very common to see, people can bleed first from the mouth and some patients find that when they brush their teeth, the find a lot of blood or blood elsewhere like urine or stool.  If you have been diagnosed or you suspect that you have hemorrhagic dengue, go to the doctor right away.”

 

Also important to note is that you can get dengue multiple times, and each time you’re infected, you increase your chances of developing dengue hemorrhagic.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Healthy Living Looks at Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever”

  1. Avery says:

    You might want to consider the use DDT (” dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane “) . It was quite effective in stopping diseases like Malaria in Africa. It was banned because some political activist got people to believe it was dangerous but it isn’t. DDT is extraordinarily safe for humans. Prof Kenneth Mellanby lectured on it for more than 40 years, and during each lecture he would eat a pinch. The people who banned it was of course people who didn’t live in areas where dengue was a problem. Belize needs to seriously consider its use despite these unwarranted bans. It is time Belize stops allowing foreigners to decide what is best for Belize.

  2. Avery says:

    Politics has long bedevilled malaria. Its first effective cure was quinine, which was discovered by Jesuit missionaries in South America during the 1630s, but for decades Protestants preferred to die rather than swallow “Jesuit’s Powder”. Today, Third World health is endangered by comfortable Western environmentalists, some of whom, discreetly, view black natives as threats to the local wildlife.

    Supporting those black natives, however, are two researchers, Richard Tren and Roger Bate, whose Malaria and the DDT Story, published by the Institute for Economic Affairs in London, shows how to foster both a healthier and an environmentally friendlier Third World.

    Since Malaria and dengue is spread the same way DDT would help Belize too. Another thing people should be aware of is the danger of having stagnant water around them because mosquitos breed there.

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