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Dengue dangers

Dawn Gibson
Monday, March 10, 2014

THE Health Ministry's dengue taskforce has placed particular emphasis on the importance of — once diagnosed with dengue — ways to restore yourself to better health.

And with numbers looking to surpass 10,000, self-help at home has become too important to ignore, particularly for the population currently suffering from the infection.

Last week, the taskforce declared a national clean-up campaign intended to run from March 8 to March 29 in an attempt to help curb all dengue instances, so by cleaning your compound you're already taking the first step to recovery.

"And bed rest, you must let the patient rest as much as possible, do not move them. Place the patient under a bed net and use insect repellent while they have a fever," a report from the taskforce read.

"Try to control the fever as best you can: Give paracetamol every six hours with a maximum of four doses per day."

It is crucial that you do not give the patient ibuprofen, aspirin or aspirin-containing drugs.

Studies have shown that in doing so, the possibility of the patient getting hemorrhagic dengue fever is high.

"Also you must sponge the patient's skin with cool water, particularly if the fever remains high.

"Do all you can to prevent dehydration. This occurs when a person loses too much fluid (from high fevers, vomiting or not drinking very much).

"Give the person plenty of fluids and be alert for signs of dehydration."

This care is usually administered at home for about a week, but the taskforce has advised that if the patient continues to present signs of infection, take them to a professional.

Some signs are: a decrease in urination, dry mouth, tongue or lips, sunken eyes, excessive tiredness, fast-paced heartbeats, cold or sweaty fingers and toes.

In the last week, 1379 suspected cases were reported to the Health Ministry — 9825 suspected dengue cases have been notified to the ministry since December 2013, latest statistics have shown.

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