Seek medical attention immediately after having symptoms of dengue, the Ministry of Health urges

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Ministry of Health advises people to seek medical attention immediately after experiencing the symptoms of dengue fever.

Making the call, Dr. Jacqueline Bisasor McKenzie, Medical Director, says that once individuals are infected with the disease, they will encounter "warning signs" of persistent vomiting, abdominal pain, tiredness, signs of confusion, lethargy ( weakness) and restlessness.

"These are signs of decreased perfusion in the brain. It means that you do not go to the brain with enough fluid, because people are dehydrated, "he said. She emphasized that dehydration should be treated.

"The important thing is to recognize the signs. Many people wait until severe dengue occurs and see signs of bleeding, before going to receive treatment, "added the CMO, noting that this condition can occur without bleeding, so it is important that people recognize the warning signs .

He said that more than 70 percent of people who get the disease experience mild symptoms, such as fever and rash, and in those cases caution should be exercised with home treatment.

Bisasor McKenzie said people should take measures to clean up mosquito breeding sites and avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, since infected mosquitoes will also transmit the disease to other family members.

The ministry is also urging people not to use aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen or any of the medications / badgesics known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It is known that these drugs, when used to treat dengue fever, increase the severity of the disease.

Dengue fever is a tropical disease transmitted by mosquitoes caused by the dengue virus and is endemic in Jamaica. The virus is transmitted by the bite of an infected Aedes Aegypti mosquito. Dengue symptoms usually begin between three and 14 days after infection. This can include high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pain, and a rash. The symptoms usually last from two to seven days.

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