Recently there is a huge spike in dengue cases in Singapore and in fact, just the first 5 months into 2022, the dengue cases this year are already more than last year!
Unfortunately, my wife also came down with dengue recently and it was during this period that I realized how serious is dengue fever!
My wife first started with fever and muscle aches on the first day. We didn’t suspect it was dengue because there were no rashes (in fact, the rashes only start to appear after the fever subsides on the 5th day).
We also noticed that dengue fever is very persistent in the first 5 days. The fever will keep coming back after the paracetamol (fever medicine, commonly known as Panadol to most people) effect wears off. So this is a sign to look out for.
During the first 5 days, my wife also experienced poor appetite, and abdominal pain (she can’t sleep on her side because of the abdominal pain).
She also felt her eye area painful. Her joint and body ache is also very disturbed and these symptoms also affect her sleeping quality.
From the 6th day, her fever has subsided but rashes start to form on the body. It gets itchier from day 6 but it is more bearable (according to her) compared to the feverish symptoms in the earlier days.
However, according to the polyclinic doctors, it is after the 5th day that things can get more serious! This is something we were caught off guard for!
Apparently, the dengue virus will decrease the platelet count in the blood and if the platelet falls too low, internal bleeding may occur and it will require emergency medical attention if it happens!
Dengue patients (with low platelet count in the blood) may experience bleeding in some areas such as during brushing teeth, passing motion, and even washing face. You should seek medical attention when this happens!
Personally, I would suggest anyone to visit your nearby clinic if you suspect you have dengue fever based on the above symptoms. It is important to take a blood test to make sure your platelet count and other blood measurement are not too low.
My wife diligently went for blood test for four times before the doctor cleared her after the platelet count increased to the normal level. That was on the 10th day after she experienced the fever.
As you may already know, there is no medicine for dengue fever, even the doctors in polyclinic can only prescribe you paracetamol and anti-itch medicine and the rest depends on your body to fight the virus.
Based on our experience, there are some things that will help during this period:
- Water – lots of it to keep your body hydrated. If you can’t drink a lot at a time, then make sure you take small sips throughout the day. It is very important to keep your body hydrated during the dengue fever period!
- Dried orange peel – It helps to calm the stomach and improve the appetite.
- Vitamin C – We believe it helps to increase platelet count. It can also help to relieve some stress during this period.
- Milo – This is a comfort drink and also provides some basic nutrients for the body.
My wife and I hope that this blog post will help someone out there who is experiencing dengue fever or don’t know if they are infected with dengue or not.
Take care and stay safe!