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Facts about Dengue Fever (05/03/2009)

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Facts about Dengue Fever - by Ni Zain

Heavy rains over the last months have boosted the population of mosquitos all over Bali. So it is no surprise at all, that since the beginning of the year Dengue Fever has gone up more than 3 folts.

So first of all what is Dengue Fever? It is a viral infection transmitted though a mosquito bite. The mosquite has to carry the virus. The mosquitos carrying the virus can bite you and your child during the day or night at any place. One single bite can be enough. There are 4 strainnth of the Dengue Virus, means, even if you got it once, you can get it again, but a different straingh. Reinfection can be very dangerouse and leed to a so called Dengue Fever Shock. More about this later. As all virus in the body, you can have the virus, but might not get sick at all or just get a milder form of it. A simple fever for a few hours might have been your turn on Dengue Fever. I believe this is also what makes Dengue sort of dangerous and often fatal, because people think they just having a fever. Once the fever is gone they don't take enough rest and the virus gets more stronger than before and can bring death. So it is very important to understand Dengue Fever and treat, in high peak Dengue Fever times, a fever with more care than to normal times. Specially when it comes to children.

Symtoms with Dengue Fever also vary a lot, so people get confused. This is one reason why I decided to publish an article about it. Dengue Fever can start with a simple earache, a little rush (normally it is not itchy) over the abdomen or the whole body. The rush can easyly be mistaken as a so called heat rush. Headache and abdominal pains can be a sign, diehrrea, vomiting and nauseah. So now you tell me that this is simple to diagnose. Your child comes home with a headache and feels nauseah. You put him down and two hours later he got fever. You might think it is just a little tummy ache or Bali Belly. Several hours later you might find yourself in the next hospital with a Dengue Fever diagnose. Or a frist Dengue Fever disease was quite mild and you also thought this was just a little flu. But two or three weeks later comes a reinfection and the body reachts hardcore and fever goes up until over 40C. So, you also see, that you or your child might have had Dengue Fever, but the body could fight it easy. But a new mosquito bite might be jsut too much for an immue system still recovering from the frist time. Signs here can be - low energy, need of a lot of sleep and rest, lack of concentration. So, in fact, we do not know how many people actually get Dengue Fever and just kick it off.

But what if your child has trouble fighting it for some kind of reason? One reason could be that the fever made your child sweat and within hours your child is getting dyhydrated. This is when the danger in Dengue Fever sets in. This is why each fever MUST be watched very careful and no matter where the fever comes from, your child need to drink. It also seams like the virus is quite clever, as it knows it can only survive if the body gets dyhydrated. So it makes people not thursty. Hard to get water into a child that refuses to drink...

No matter what fever you dealing with. Make sure your child drinks and has proper rest, so the body can fight the viurs or bacterial infection. And here comes another danger with virus infections, which I just briefly realised and learned. If you got a virus infection and your body is getting weaker, it is very easy for any other invador to jump on the train and bring more sickness. So you fighting with Dengue Fever and a bacterial infection is getting adding to the picture. This is why, very often even when you got a virus infection your doctor will give you a low dose antibiotic. In case of Dengue Fever, this really can save your life. The antibiotic will take over the bacterial infection and the immune system can again focus on fighting the Dengue Virus. This also might misslead you in diagnosing Dengue Fever. It can go hand in hand with a influenza or flu or easy mistaken as it.

So the best for you and your child is to kick of the fever fast, drink a lot and take a rest. Dengue Fever virus is active for about 10 days once in the body. Additional keep the body warm. Virus infections, no matter which ones drive on cold body temeratiures. If you get cold, the virus easy can get much stronger. Means, an infected mosquito bite you might just kick off, but than you got wet on the motorbike or your child was swimming until it was shivering. This is were the virus just can take over again. For this reason, the body fights a virus infection with high fever. The fever kills the virus and you recover. So it is not always good to push the fever down with medication. I found that homeopathic and many other Holistic Remedies do a very good job here. If the fever is just a reaction on something, homeopatich would bring the fever easy down. But if the fever is needed to help the body in healing, homeopathic can help to deal with the fever, lower it a bit, but help you to fight the virus. Homeopathic Belladona is very usefull to give with Dengue Fever, as it stabilise the fever quite well and is absolute save.

So were does it get dangorouse? The danger in Dengue Fever sits when you get dyhyrated. Than the virus is able to weaken the blood vessels and you basicly bleading to death. This is why it is a good idea to get one of the Laboratories here in Bali to come and check the blood. Yes, they do actually come and take your blood, which is very helpful with a sick child you don't want to transport around. Basic blood tests only cost around 60.000Rp. According to the palent count, called Trombosites test, you can see if you might fight Dengue Fever. Lower than 100 is very dangerous and your child needs immideatly transfered to the hospital to get an intravineuse injection to supply liquid to the body. If the Trombosites fall even lower, immediatly blood tranfusions will be given. I heard of cases were more than 20 liter of blood have been given. Additional if you have a reinfection and you can get a so called Dengue Fever Shock. This is when the body suddenly cools down and goes in a stage of shock. Clumsy skin and rapid low pulse are another sign. Most of those cases are fatal. This is why, you must observe a fever very well and react fast, one little mistake can be fatal. I don't want to frighten you, and overreact on fevers, but please watch your child or family member well if they got a fever. Dengue comes in many ways....

So what to do when your child has Dengue Fever? Frist of all again. Drinking, make sure your child eats high vitamin C foods. One magic help on Dengue Fever is Guava Juice. So a very good idea is to have a daily glass of Guava Juice during a Dengue Fever outbreak. Additional get your child rest and give natural remedies to get the fever down. Observe the temerature very carefully. Give Collodial Silver and other 100% natural supplements to boost the immue system. I found Poo Chai Pills doing a very good job on Dengue Fever too.

But there is another great help, which mother nature has given us. Several sources came up with the leave of the Papaya tree. You take a big leave, wash it well with clean water, pull it in small pieces and add a half a cup of water. Squeeze the leaves out as much as you can, the water shall be dark green at the end. Stir the juice though a strainer, add honey and lemon - drink. The mixture has a bit a bitter taste, but Ibu Robin from the Bumi Sehat Foundation in Ubud told me it works wonders. I got two more mails in where people told me that friends got cured with this juice, even the doctors almost have given up on. I also remember, that actually papaya leave is a part of the traditional food here in Bali. In the villages they are making a sort of vegetable salat from it called Urab. I believe it protects the local Balinese from getting Dengue Fever in the first place. Those who don't eat it, little children and the elder, are much more in danger to get Dengue Fever. And there is another help too. It is another traditional remedy they call "Beras Anka". It is a sort of rice. You boil it a little bit and drink it. But don't boild too much, otherways it becomes to stricky. Just like a tea. I have no experience with it, but several people also told me it works very well in acute cases of Dengue Fever.

And last bust not least: How do I protect myself from Dengue Fever?

Make sure your place has not breading places for the mosquitos. Sitting water, even empty bottels can be a source for breading mosquitos. Any kind of standing water. Use UV mosquito lights like I have promoted them in my mosquito article. They kill the mosquitos in an easy way without the dangers you have with fumigation. Fumigation is using DDT and is very, very dangerous. What kills mosquitos fast, kills you slowly each day... get a mosquito net and wear long arm and leg loose cotton clothing.

Please print this article and put it in your medical box, so in case your child has Fever, you can easy read about symtoms and cure. it can save lives!!! Unfortunatly the local expat community somehow thinks that Dengue only happens to poor people living in dirty areas and a bad stage of health. Talking to many people over the last few weeks, I found almost everybody had Dengue Fever cases in their family or friends had it. So it is closer to you, as you might think....

Good luck - folks! - Ni Zain

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Bali for Kids.com was first launched 22/07/2006 - The dengue page was last updated: 19/06/2009

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