Dengue Fever in Vietnam
Dengue fever is a disease ranging from mild to severe — caused by four related viruses spread by the Aedes mosquito. ‘Milder’ dengue fever causes  high fever, rash, severe headache, muscle and joint pain. More-severe but much rarer forms of the disease — dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome — can additionally cause severe bleeding, a sudden drop in blood pressure (shock) and even death (very rare).

TREATMENT

No specific treatment for dengue fever exists, and most people recover but supportive care is essential, so drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration from vomiting and high fever. Also take acetaminophen (Tylenol) or paracetamol to alleviate pain and reduce fever. Don't take aspirin or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) as these can increase the risk of bleeding complications.

But if you do develop a severe form of the disease, you will need hospital care, where treatment will consist of: Supportive care as an in-patient with analgesics, intravenous (IV) fluid and electrolyte replacement, blood pressure monitoring and transfusion to replace blood loss (very rare).

If you have any signs or symptoms of dengue fever, please come see us at Family Medical Practice as we have the expertise to diagnose and manage this disease.

To diagnose dengue fever, we can do specific blood tests and rule out other diseases presenting in a similar fashion such as malaria, influenza, eptospirosis and typhoid fever.


PREVENTION

The best way to avoid dengue fever is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes that carry the disease. No vaccine is commonly available as yet to prevent dengue.

To reduce your risk of mosquito bites, minimize your exposure to mosquitoes:
• Schedule outdoor activities for times when mosquitoes are less prevalent. Avoid being outdoors at dawn, dusk and early evening, when more mosquitoes are buzzing about.
• Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes.
• Stay in air-conditioned or well-screened housing.
• Apply permethrin-containing mosquito repellent to your bed netting. You can also buy clothing made with permethrin already in it.
• Use repellent with a  10 to 30 percent concentration of DEET on your skin. Choose the concentration based on the hours of protection you need — a 10 percent concentration of DEET is effective for about two hours; higher concentrations last longer. However, chemical repellents can be toxic, so use only the amount needed. Don't use DEET on the hands of young children or on infants under 2 months of age. Instead, cover your infant's stroller or playpen with mosquito netting when outside.


DR. BRIAN MCNAULL
Medical Director
Liver Specialist & Tropical Medicine


FAMILY MEDICAL PRACTICE HANOI
298 I Kim Ma Street, Van Phuc Compound, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam
Tel:          +84 4 3843 0748
Email:      hanoi@vietnammedicalpractice.com
 
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