Parents, if you suspect your child's fever is related to dengue, consult a doctor immediately and don't give him medications like ibuprofen, mefanamic acid, and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID).
This was the strict advice of doctors present during the launch of the Allied Against Dengue campaign by GSK Consumer Healthcare Philippines together with the Department of Health and the Philippine Pharmacists Association. SmartParenting.com.ph is an ally along with CNN Philippines and Mercury Drug.
Dr. Salvacion R. Gatchalian, vice president of the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS), said that NSAIDs should strictly be avoided as these drugs have been shown to aggravate gastritis or bleeding. Other drugs that should be avoided are steroids and aspirin. Antibiotics are also not necessary to treat the symptoms of dengue.
The safest medication to treat high fever related to dengue is paracetamol, according to Dr. Gatchalian and the World Health Organization (WHO), especially when a child's dengue symptoms do not require hospitalization. Aside from paracetamol, the child needs to be given plenty of fluids, bed rest, and a lukewarm sponge bath if the child still has fever.
However, Dr. Gatchalian stresses that the first two days after the fever are the most crucial and should be monitored. Warning signs of severe dengue may appear after three to seven days after the first symptoms appear.
Dengue is suspected when a child has a fever and at least any of the two following symptoms:
vomiting and/or nausea
muscle and joint pain
bleeding nose and gums
Those who may need to be admitted to hospitals are patients with symptoms like "severe headaches, pain around the eyes, rashes, bleeding of the gums and severe abdominal pain,” according to Dr. Gatchalian. Seek medical attention immediately if your child has any of these symptoms.
Along with dengue treatment and symptoms, the campaign also covered the latest dengue statistics in the Philippines.
Thirty eight percent of dengue fever cases are of children ages 5 to 14 years old, said Dr. Eric A. Tayag, speaker at the event and director of the Bureau of Local Health Systems Development of the Department of Health (DOH). Alarmingly, children are also generally more susceptible to severe disease than adults.
In the Philippines, reported dengue fever cases are at more than 200,000 in 2015 that have resulted in 6,000 deaths, reported by Dr. Lyndon L. Lee Suy, director of the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau of the DOH, who also spoke at the event.
A conscious decision as a community to ally against dengue is still as important as ever. To find out how you can prevent dengue infection, learn about DOH’s “4 o’clock habit” here. For information on the most effective insect repellents, click here.