Tuesday, September 28, 2010

From the Nurse

A little reminder from the nurse here in Kingston.
In short, don't get dengue.

Reminder to Staff Re: Dengue Fever…..

Reminding all staff that if they think they have dengue fever it is important to see their doctor to have a blood test done to confirm the sub-type of dengue fever. Many viral infections have similar symptoms – so one cannot assume that they have dengue without the confirmation of a blood test. It is also important in order to know the type you have been exposed to as your risk of contracting hemorrhagic dengue (the more serious type) increases with each exposure.

Dengue Fever:
This is an infectious, disabling mosquito-borne fever. Dengue is caused by a virus carried by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes, usually A. aegypti, which also carries yellow fever.

The classic symptoms, following an incubation period of five to eight days, are high fever, which includes extreme joint pain and stiffness, intense pain behind the eyes, a return of fever after brief pause, and a characteristic rash.

Convalescence is sometimes prolonged, with weakness and low blood pressure.
There are four strains of virus;   Dengue 1, 2, 3 and 4.
A person infected with one type of dengue will subsequently only be immune to that type. They will not be immune to other types of dengue and will, in fact, be at risk of developing severe symptoms if they contract another type of dengue.
Infection with one type does not confer immunity to the remaining three.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever, a severe form of the disease, can cause hemorrhage, shock, and encephalitis. It occurs when a person who has acquired immunity to one of the viruses that cause dengue fever is infected by a different dengue virus. There is no specific treatment for dengue fever except good nursing care. Dengue can be controlled by eradicating the mosquitoes and destroying their breeding places.
Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms. Patients should be isolated during the first three days, when mosquitoes can pick up the disease from them. Prevention relies on mosquito control.                                                                            

 Dengue Fever Treatment
*       See a doctor / general practitioner (GP) immediately.
*       Please do not self-diagnose. The only way to confirm that you have dengue fever is to have a blood test. This is also important in order to confirm the sub-type.  Many flu viruses have similar symptoms and people may assume they have dengue when in fact they are suffering from a viral infection.
*       Stay Isolated for 3 -4 days after symptoms appear
*       If you have dengue fever, mosquitoes that bite you may pass dengue on to other people.
*       Medication.
*       Drink plenty of liquids and take Tylenol/Paracetamol (acetaminophen) for fever and pain.
*       Do not take aspirin or ibuprophen because it can affect blood clotting.
*       Wear insect repellent.
Dengue haemorrhagic fever treatment
All patients with dengue haemorrhagic fever need to be hospitalised for fluid therapy and monitoring.