McKoys’ News has been reliably informed that two children have died since the Dengue Fever saga in Jamaica. The first one died while undergoing treatment at the Bustamante Hospital for Children. The second one (who is from Waterford) also died of the same illness.
We are asking parents to be on the alert for signs and symptoms of the illness and when not sure or certain, visit your nearest health centre or private doctor to be on the safe side.
DENGUE FEVER ALERT
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus .
Signs and Symptoms
•Sudden, high fever
•Pain behind the eyes
•Severe joint and muscle pain
•Skin rash, which appears two to five days after the onset of fever
•Mild bleeding (such a nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising)
Sometimes, symptoms are mild and can be mistaken for those of the flu or another viral infection. Younger children and people who have never had the infection before tend to have milder cases than older children and adults. However, serious problems can develop. These include dengue hemorrhagic fever, a rare complication characterized by high fever, damage to lymph and blood vessels, bleeding from the nose and gums, enlargement of the liver, and failure of the circulatory system. The symptoms may progress to massive bleeding, shock, and death. This is called dengue shock syndrome (DSS).
Treatment for Dengue Fever
There is no specific medicine to treat dengue infection. If you think you may have dengue fever, you should use pain relievers with acetaminophen/paracetamol and avoid medicines with aspirin, which could worsen bleeding. You should also rest, drink plenty of fluids, and see your doctor. If you start to feel worse in the first 24 hours after your fever goes down, you should get to a hospital immediately to be checked for complications.
To protect yourself:
•Stay away from heavily populated residential areas, if possible.
•Use mosquito repellents, even indoors.
•When outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks.
•When indoors, use air conditioning if available.
•Make sure window and door screens are secure and free of holes. If sleeping areas are not screened or air conditioned, use mosquito nets.
•If you have symptoms of dengue, speak to your doctor.
To reduce the mosquito population
Get rid of places where mosquitoes can breed. These include old tyres, cans, or flower pots that collect rain. Regularly change the water in outdoor bird baths and pets’ water dishes.
If someone in your home gets dengue fever, be especially vigilant about efforts to protect yourself and other family members from mosquitoes. Mosquitoes that bite the infected family member could spread the infection to others in your home.
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