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Dengue Fever: Know the Signs and How to Protect Yourself


Dengue Fever: Know the Signs and How to Protect Yourself

Dengue fever is a common illness in the Philippines, especially during the rainy season. It can be a nasty bug to catch, but with the right knowledge, we can protect ourselves and our loved ones.


In this interview, we have the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Yña Pereyra-Borlongan, a general practitioner at Doctor Anywhere, to learn more about dengue fever, its symptoms, and how to protect yourself.



Understanding the Symptoms of Dengue Fever


Dr. Yña defines dengue fever as "a viral infection caused by the Dengue virus." “There are four strains and a person can, unfortunately, be infected by all four. While many cases are mild, severe dengue can lead to complications like dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome,” she explains.


Dengue fever can be tricky to diagnose because its symptoms mimic those of other illnesses. "Many patients experience no symptoms at all. But for those who do, the most common ones are high fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, nausea, and vomiting. Some may also develop a rash," explains Dr. Yña. She also emphasizes that these symptoms typically appear after a mosquito bite, between 4 and 7 days.


While dengue fever shares similarities with other illnesses, there are some key distinctions. Dr. Yña mentions, "Chikungunya infection is one illness that can closely resemble dengue. The main difference is that chikungunya often causes more severe joint pain that can last for months even after the infection clears up."



Stopping the Spread and Protecting Yourself

Stopping the Spread and Protecting Yourself

Mosquitoes transmit dengue fever, so preventing mosquito bites is crucial. “The Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes transmit the virus when they feed on human blood.”


Fortunately, there are ways to prevent the spread of dengue. Dr. Yña emphasizes the importance of the Department of Health's (DOH) 5S strategy:


1. Search and destroy mosquito breeding sites

2. Self-protection through insect repellents

3. Seek early consultation with a doctor if you experience symptoms

4. Support fogging, spraying, and misting efforts in hot spots areas

5. Sustain hydration to help your body fight the infection



When to Seek Medical Attention


Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for preventing complications from dengue. "Don't wait until symptoms worsen," advises Dr. Yña. "If you experience any dengue symptoms, especially a high fever with muscle and joint pains, consult a doctor right away."


Dr. Yña also highlights some warning signs that require immediate medical attention:

  • Abdominal pain or tenderness

  • Persistent vomiting

  • Fluid accumulation in the abdomen or lungs

  • Mucosal bleeding or bleeding from gums or nose

  • Lethargy or restlessness

  • Enlarged liver or Hepatomegaly

  • Rapid changes in blood cell counts



Dengue fever is a preventable and treatable illness with the right knowledge and precautions. We can all protect ourselves and our communities from it by following the 5S strategy, staying informed about the symptoms, and seeking medical attention promptly.


Our general practitioners are available 24/7, either on-demand or by appointment. Use *promo code DACONSULT30 to save ₱30 on your first video consultation with a general practitioner. 


We also offer a wide range of specialists, including infectious disease doctors and pediatricians, available daily by appointment, even on weekends and holidays. Use **promo code DAEXPERTCARE to save ₱30 on your first video consultation with a specialist. 


Use the Doctor Anywhere app to begin your video consultations, and conveniently purchase medications through the app after your consultation and have them delivered to your doorstep. Download the free Doctor Anywhere app now to access these services.


Make the most out of your doctor appointments! Here are a few reminders to keep in mind before your video consultations: https://dranywhr.ph/consultation-reminders 



*Promo is valid for users who haven't had a video consultation with a GP, linked their HMO or insurance accounts to Doctor Anywhere, or subscribed to our health plans. The promo runs from January 10, 2024, to December 31, 2024. DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-182380 Series of 2023.

**Promo is valid for users who haven't had a video consultation with any specialists, linked their HMO or insurance accounts, or subscribed to our health plans. The promo runs from May 1, 2024, to April 30, 2025. DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-192282 Series of 2024.



Sources:

1. Dr. Pereyra-Borlongan, Maria Yña Eluisia. Interviewed on 2 May 2024.

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