DENGUE FEVER

DENGUE FEVER

The Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, has forecasted that in 2023, Thailand will see an increase in dengue fever outbreaks based on epidemiological predictions. From January 1 to June 8, 2023, there have been 19,503 reported cases of dengue fever, with an incidence rate of 29.47 per 100,000 population and 17 deaths. The number of cases in 2023 is 3.8 times higher than the same period in 2022. The age group with the highest incidence rate is 5-14 years, followed by 15-24 years. The provinces with the highest incidence rates in the past month are Trat, Nan, Chanthaburi, Mae Hong Son, and Satun, respectively.

Dengue fever is a public health issue caused by the dengue virus, which has four serotypes and is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. The disease is characterized by high fever and hemorrhagic symptoms. If not treated promptly, it can lead to shock and potentially death. It is essential to closely monitor changes in the disease and provide appropriate treatment, especially in cases of shock.

Symptoms of Dengue Fever

Dengue fever symptoms can be divided into three stages:

Initial Stage During the initial stage, the patient experiences high fever for about 5-7 days. Symptoms may include muscle pain, rash or red spots on the body, arms, and legs, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting.

Critical Stage This is the most critical stage. The patient may experience fatigue, decreased urine output, abdominal pain (especially under the right rib cage), abnormal bleeding (such as nosebleeds, vomiting blood, or black stools). During this stage, the fever starts to decrease, but the patient may have cold hands and feet, low blood pressure, and potentially go into shock, which can be fatal.

Recovery Stage In this stage, the patient’s condition begins to improve. Blood pressure stabilizes, urine output increases, appetite returns, and abdominal pain and bloating decrease. The overall duration of dengue fever is about 7-10 days.

Treatment for Dengue Fever

Currently, there is no specific antiviral treatment for dengue fever. Therefore, treatment focuses on relieving symptoms. Fever can be managed with paracetamol and tepid sponging, but other antipyretics like aspirin or ibuprofen should be avoided. It is crucial to seek medical attention promptly to ensure proper diagnosis and close monitoring during the critical stage to prevent shock.

Preventing Dengue Fever

As there is no vaccine that directly cures dengue fever, prevention is key:

  • Personal Protection: Wear protective clothing, sleep in mosquito-netted or screened rooms, and use insect repellent.
  • Eliminate Breeding Grounds: Ensure water storage containers are covered, change water in vases and pots every 7 days, and use insecticides or larvicides to kill adult mosquitoes.
  • Dengue Vaccine: The dengue vaccine is recommended for individuals who have had dengue fever before to prevent recurrence, as it reduces the severity and is more effective in these cases.

 

 

Information Source : Thai Health Promotion Foundation and the Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health

Information Source:
  • Asst.Prof.Dr.Chanamate techasansiri Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
  • Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health
  • PPTV Health Station

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