Health October 23, 2023 | 3:03 pm

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Pediatric hospitals are overflowing with dengue patients, says Infectious Disease Society

Yesterday the consultation rooms and internment areas were full of children with their mothers due to febrile illnesses, suspected of dengue.JORGE_MARTINEZ

Santo Domingo.- The president of the Dominican Society of Infectious Diseases, Rosa Abreu, denounced that the cases of dengue fever in the country continue to increase. During the last week, the two leading national pediatric hospitals attended more than sixty children with disease symptoms daily.

The specialist said that the country is going through an outbreak of dengue fever that exceeds the hospital capacity due to the variable epidemiological behavior of the disease. She insisted on prevention measures.

“At the Robert Reid Cabral children’s hospital this week has passed with more than 60 cases every day; at the Hugo Mendoza, this Thursday I was told that there were almost 100, and the private centers alike,” he indicated.

Abreú, an infectologist and pediatrician, spoke in these terms in the program Reseñas, which is broadcast on Saturdays at 9 p.m. on ENTelevisión, channel 31.

She said that the increase in dengue cases started at the end of July, and since then, the hospitals have been “overcrowded.”

In particular, he indicated that the cases correspond primarily to children from the capital at the Robert Reid Cabral Hospital.

“Both public and private centers are full of people with suspected symptoms of dengue, mostly children, but it also affects the adult population, that is, there is no discrimination,” he added.

He attributed the rebound of the disease, which is endemic in tropical countries such as the Dominican Republic, to the fact that, in specific years, there is an increase in the number of cases due to favorable environmental conditions.

“All year round we have cases of dengue. But the disease has a type of variable behavior from the epidemiological point of view, there are years when cases increase and it is known that in periods of three to five years there can be outbreaks and epidemics, so that is what we are experiencing at the moment,” he explained.

“Neither waste of time nor self-medication.”

He explained that the disease symptoms usually appear after the mosquito bite after five to seven days.

He added that dengue fever enters its critical period on the fourth or seventh day after the onset of fever.

He recommended seeking medical assistance without wasting time in the presence of fever, headache, general malaise, muscle aches, pain behind the eyes, Abreu.

“In this critical period, which generally occurs 4 to 7 days after the onset of fever, is when complications usually occur and the patient who is going to have dengue with warning signs presents vomiting, abdominal pain, dizziness, weakness or drowsiness,” he said.

“In children it is very common that they present irritability, so the child is restless, tearful, does not eat, and the presence of vomiting are also warning signs,” he added.

He mainly alerted parents regarding symptoms in children such as a high fever that does not subside or subsides at times only with medication, not wanting to eat or drink liquids, vomiting, general weakness, or drowsiness.

“If the child does not ingest liquids or solids, it is necessary to go immediately, as soon as the ingestion begins to decrease. If the child urinates very little, it is also another alarm sign, it means that he/she is dehydrating or is already dehydrated, and that can increase mortality,” he warned.

He emphasized that there are medications that should not be used in dengue since even a prolonged administration of acetaminophen for fever can also cause complications.

Have an early hemogram

The pediatric infectologist remarked that it is not necessary to wait for 72 hours of fever to perform a hemogram on a child suspected of having dengue fever, as it used to be believed in the past.

She explained that the hemogram was already altered with one day of fever. Although it is not the definitive diagnosis of dengue, this analysis will give the physician an early idea of probable dengue.

Prevention campaigns should be permanent.

The Dominican Society of Infectious Diseases president pointed out that the country can never lower its guard regarding dengue prevention measures, which should be permanent.

Among these measures, she cited massive information and orientation campaigns so that the population takes into account the elimination of the breeding places of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a vector of dengue, which also transmits the Zika and chikungunya viruses, from homes and the environment.

Likewise, fumigation programs, the use of mosquito nets for sleeping, and the use of repellents, among other actions.

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