Monday, September 25, 2006

Dengue Lessons

My younger brothers, the twins, caught the disease this week. Needless to say they were confined for 3 to 5 days at the hospital.

In honor of their being discharged I've compiled a list of lessons learned from this experience.

  1. An unexplicably long fever. If you have fever that comes and goes in a span of 2 to 3 days, don't wait, get a blood test, quick. I mean NOW!!!
  2. CBC. A complete blood count or a blood test is the only sure way to determine if you have the disease. A platelette count lower than 150 means that you could have the disease. My brother's platelette count was an alarming 50.
  3. Pesky Mosquitos. Keep a stock of mosquito repellant lotion. The disease spreads thru mosquito bites. Even if it's not dengue season, make it a habit to dab some on exposed skin before the late afternoon, that's when they bite.
  4. Fluids and lots of it. Dengue is caused by a virus. The only way to fight it is with the body's own immune system. When you get confined, the first thing they do is stick you with dextrose. If you're strong enough to drink water, drink lots of it.
  5. a Doctor in the House. It pays to have a doctor in the family. They're always on call for the members of the family. A pleasant bonus is that doctors and nurses who treat you at the hospital will be extra careful when they find out that you have a doctor in the family.