‘Get medical care urgently for virus’
The Ministry of Health has advised of the signs and symptoms of dengue fever and reminded that anyone showing any sign or symptom of dengue fever should seek immediate medical treatment at the nearest health facility or visit a doctor.
Parents are advised to be extra cautious since children are at greater risk of developing severe dengue and all its complications.
Trinidad is currently considered to be hyperendemic for dengue fever, meaning there is sustained circulation of the virus in the population at relatively high incidence levels. There is also evidence of more than one subtype in circulation.
As a result, many citizens would have been exposed to one or more strains of the dengue virus in the past. However, exposure to one strain does not confer immunity to other strains.
This epidemiologic situation increases the risk of nationals developing severe dengue fever and its complications, with the risk being higher among the paediatric population.
Signs & symptoms of Dengue Fever
Dengue fever is spread from person to person by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. Symptoms appear within five to six days of being bitten, last for one to two weeks and can include headaches (sometimes severe), high fever, backache, nausea/vomiting, skin rash, muscle and joint pains, pain behind the eyes and diarrhoea.
Sometimes, dengue haemorrhagic fever can develop. This is a serious complication of dengue fever which can lead to death.
Warning signs include severe headache, abdominal pain, persistent vomiting/diarrhoea, weakness/lethargy or restlessness, bleeding under the skin (red spots and bruises) bleeding nose, gums, heavy vaginal bleedings, blood in stool and vomit, low blood pressure and shock.
Dengue is diagnosed by a simple blood test. If a person has dengue, a doctor will prescribe medicines to reduce the fever and treat other symptoms as necessary.
Important: Do not use Aspirin, Motrin, Cataflam, Olfen or ibuprofin. These can cause bleeding which lead to shock. Use Paracetamol or acetaminophen such as Panadol/Tylenol. Take only those medicines prescribed by the doctor, rest and drink plenty of water.