“Diseases evolve, and dengue is no exception”

The most common mistake is self-diagnosing kids

Dengue fever is one of the most common diseases in the Dominican Republic due to its endemic nature and other factors affecting the reproductive ability of the dengue-transmitting mosquito Aedes aegypti. Children are one of the most vulnerable groups. In an interview with elCaribe, pediatrician and epidemiologist Madeleine Reynoso explains the various factors that must be considered to avoid unfortunate outcomes, and mistakes not to make at all costs.

How vulnerable are children to this disease?

Like everything in medicine, they are always the extremes of life, the elderly and babies under the age of two. This special situation is more common in groups under the age of 20. Dengue has four serotypes, and by the age of 20, it gives us four dengue serotypes. Every time you get a serotype, the next one is worse, it only gives you four times, but every time you become sensitive to one serotype, the next one usually has a more unfavorable evolution.

What are some common mistakes parents make?

In popular slang terms, the scariest and most problematic thing to do is giving your child medicine at home. They feel the temperature with their hands, it’s not a sign of a fever, you have to put the thermometer on it. We have a kid with a fever and the first thing we do is give him acetaminophen on a schedule, if you do that you won’t know when the fever goes down, you won’t be able to recognize the warning signs if he doesn’t Realizing that he was going to be late in arriving at the ER, we had a hard time getting that patient back. Another thing is that they think their platelets are low due to suspicion of dengue and they give them green peppers and guavas, it’s a myth that platelets don’t go up and irritate the stomach, and it happens that children who drink badly Vomiting and prolonged dehydration may make your condition worse. I thought it was because of a fever, and I had done it before. After staying for three days, the child collapsed at home, and I was stressed whether I took it or not.

What are the warning signs?

Severe abdominal pain, dizziness, vomiting, nervous system changes, loss of appetite, nosebleeds, and frequent vomiting—any of these should be a trip to the emergency room.

Which diseases are easily confused with dengue fever?

The clinical presentation of dengue is very trivial and can easily be confused with pictures of leptospirosis, malaria or even angina, this is very common, be careful as sometimes kids have a high fever or any virus and the area is red and not Means you have tonsillopharyngitis. It can also be confused with gastroenteritis due to vomiting and loose stools.

What advice should parents consider?

If your child has a fever for 4 to 48 hours, is eating well and is not dehydrated or dizzy, go to an outpatient clinic. The proportion of dengue detected by counseling and blood counts is very high. If there is any alarm data, it is explained to the parent and entered. The problem is that the parents don’t go, they only go for emergencies when the child is already very decompensated. If you see a doctor from day one and follow up promptly, you can keep your child stable until the illness is over.

Some advice for parents to avoid exposure to…

The right thing to do is we eliminate the hatchery inside the house. For children, use clothing that covers them and apply repellent to exposed areas. If you’re going to an area where mosquito control is difficult, start using a mosquito net in the late afternoon and evening. Especially in the afternoon as it is a very versatile mosquito that likes to bite in the afternoon.

How long does dengue fever last in the body?

It doesn’t last more than 7 days, and of course some patients get complicated and if they get to ICU, it takes longer, but not because of dengue itself, but because of complications.

What do you think doctors should know about dengue fever?

The important thing is that we doctors have a bad habit of thinking that things used to be the same as they are now, diseases evolve and dengue is no exception, before we thought we had to wait three days for a fever to do a full blood count for a child, no dengue now So versatile that after 48 hours the child may have had thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, severe, critical stage clinical manifestations, so once the child has clinical manifestations of dengue fever, please do NS1 or complete blood count.

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