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How to tell if you have dengue

JPMC’s Dr Seemin Jamali on what not to do

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 20, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 week ago
Posted: Nov 20, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 week ago

Dengue is on the rise in Pakistan and thousands of people have already been infected. Here’s how to tell if you have dengue and what to do in case you do.

Dr Seemin Jamali, the head of the one of Karachi’s biggest hospitals, the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, said dengue is rising because of mistreatment during the initial phases.

She thinks people take their symptoms, like fevers, too lightly and ignore them.

Speaking to SAMAA TV on Wednesday on its show Naya Din, Dr Jamali said doctors also usually prescribe injections upon injections and antibiotics, but that isn’t the right thing to do.

These antibiotics affect patients’ test results and doctors are then not able to understand what actually happened, she said.

What to do

If you have a prolonged fever, one that lasts more than two or three days, you should get a CBC blood test right away.

“The test will tell you two things–the platelet count and the white blood cell count. This will reveal if the patient is suffering from a viral infection or something more,” explained Dr Jamali.

Apart from fever, other symptoms of dengue include severe ache in joints, your head (temples), back and muscles. “Dengue is a like a bone-break fever,” she said.

There are between 100 and 150 dengue patients admitted to the JPMC every single day, she said. The number of cases reported in Sindh has risen to 11,520, according to the Dengue Surveillance Cell.

“Dengue does not have any specific precautionary methods,” said the doctor. “The only way to prevent it is through eradication of mosquitoes.”

She added that the mosquitoes will keep spreading and the only way to stop their growing population is through a better system of cleanliness.

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