I stay in a good locality and work in a hygienic office and yet, contracted the deadly Dengue virus. It was Thursday last week and in office, I was feeling cold. While having dinner at home, I realised I got fever. By bedtime, slight fever turned to high fever with chills. That’s when it dawned upon me that something is wrong.
Friday morning, I rushed to our family doctor. He prescribed some antibiotics and other medicines, and asked me to return the next day if I didn’t get better. Friday night was horrible with lot of chills and temperature touching 103°F. I couldn’t eat but ate only to take medicines. By Saturday morning, I didn’t feel any better and temperature touched 104°F. With nothing else to do, I rushed to doctor again. This time, he collected blood sample and by evening, I got the totally unexpected bad news that I contracted Dengue! My heart skipped a beat and I suddenly felt dizzy and weak when doctor broke the news! Thankfully, my platelets were good at 188,000. So no immediate hospitalisation was needed.
Hyderabad was in grip of Dengue for few months. Heavy rainfall only made things worse. Several deaths were also reported especially among children, and several team members in office had also contracted Dengue. Now dengue’s grip is loosening. Hopefully, I am one of the last victims.
The following 5 days were terrible with nausea, monitoring platelet count and visiting doctor. My platelet count kept falling to 144,000 and then, suddenly to 60,000. Every time, the report freaked me out. The normal range is 150,000 to 400,000. When a person is not well, the platelet count can fall to 100,000 but anything below this threshold isn’t a good sign. When the platelets fell to 60,000, doctor asked me to get admitted. But thankfully, when the hospital staff did the same test, this time it was 90,000. As the platelets were increasing, they advised against admission.
The next couple days were peaceful. Fever subsided and didn’t return. I slept well during night. Then finally, platelets rose to 290,000 in just 2 days. With this, doctor announced that my dengue is officially OVER! 😀
My learnings about Dengue
- There is NO specific drug to treat dengue. Our body MUST identify the virus and fight it on its own. All we can do is help our body by eating healthy food and drinking fluids. Doctors might prescribe antibiotics to ensure that no other infection attacks our body when it is already fighting a tough battle.
- Recovery can take anywhere between 2-7 days.
- Dengue can worsen to severe dengue, dengue hemorrhagic fever, or dengue shock syndrome. This can happen despite temperature returning to normal.
- WATCH OUT for these signs of INTERNAL BLEEDING:
- Skin rashes or red spots on skin
- Changes in the colour of urine or stool (Don’t ignore black stool)
- Bleeding gums or nose
- Abdominal pain
- Persistent vomiting
- Get your platelet count checked every other day. Several diagnostics centres offer services to collect blood sample from home. You can opt for that.
- Drink fluids and respect your body during treatment.
- Avoid caffeinated drinks. Opt for herbal teas and ALWAYS drink warm water.
- Eat homemade food only.
- High fever accompanied by chills
- Body pains and headache
- Skin rashes or red spots
- Physical barrier to not let mosquitoes inside house like nets attached to doors and windows is the best prevention. Chemical repellents like HIT and ALLOUT aren’t healthy for longterm use.
- Ensure that water is not stored for long period of time.
- Keep premises clean.
Tips for speedy recovery
- Consume Papaya leaf juice or at least tablets containing papaya leaf extract like Caripill or Minmin PB. Papaya leaf is particularly effective in ensuring that platelets don’t drop too low. Also, papaya extracts help in speedy recovery.
- Have fruits such as Papaya, Kiwi, Banana, and Pomegranate.
- Take ample rest and sleep well.
- Drink fluids.
- Drink ONLY boiled water, even if it is mineral water.
- Stay CALM. This too shall pass!
When in doubt or if symptoms worsen, rush to your doctor or nearest hospital.