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Dengue Fever in the Philippines

Yesterday I heard another friend had just recovered from Dengue Fever. This is the third person I know who had contracted this virus. Dengue also known as Broken Bone Fever is not a major concern in Davao, but it does exist.

As in all tropical environments mosquitoes are more of a problem since the weather is more conducive for their breeding and life.Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water. That is why most local health advisories tell you to check for places where rain water may be trapped such as old tires and flower pots.

Here in the Philippines there is a lot of rain, plus the bad drainage systems and house water waste in open canals along the roads. Most are not conscience of the problem they are creating. In poorer areas many homes have buckets outside to collect water and save for their uses.

Dengue is not contagious and is only spread by a bite from a mosquito. The mosquito that carries this virus is out only during daytime where normal pesky mosquitoes mainly attack after dark. While researching and from my friend, there are four types of dengue and even though once you contract the virus, you are immune for life you can still contact the other three types.

The first symptoms are severe headaches and pain in the joints. At first many think they have caught the Flu. Then a high fever and skin rash occurs.

One version is Dengue hemorrhagic fever but from my reading, this usually affects children under the age of 10. This strain causes internal bleeding and blood can be noticed in the stool and bleeding gums.Other signs are easy bruising.

Since Dengue is a virus, there is no real cure and all treatments are to suppress the symptoms. One of the results of the virus is a loss or lowering of platelets in the blood. Here in the Philippines dengue patients use tea made from tawa-tawa herbs and sweet potato tops juice to increase the platelets counts and revive the patients. These treatments have not been approved by the Philippine Department of Medicine so doctors cannot prescribe. These herbal treatments will help in increasing the platelet count.

If you’re near the beach, in the provinces or an area with a lot of vegetation and moisture, you should consider wearing slacks and long sleeve shirts. Also use mosquito repellent.

With all the rain and floods in norther Luzon due to the recent Typhoons, there will be more cases reported.

For more information, visit Medicine.net at http://www.medicinenet.com/dengue_fever/article.htm

14 Responses to “Dengue Fever in the Philippines”

  1. jan says:

    Good post, Bruce.
    People need to be warned for this.

    • Bruce says:

      Jan,
      I am glad you see the need and hope many take heed. I do not think about it when I am out, but I do not spend time in rural or wet areas. But it can happen anywhere and you need to know what to look out for. With the platelet loss, anyone with health problems need to know the symptoms and get help as soon as they think there is a problem.

  2. Evelyn says:

    maayong gabi-i, bruce…(good evening)

    bruce,when we went to garden of eden in davao…(i forgot the name now..is this correct?)..anyway,in 2007 i showed my boss around the nice spots over there and one of them was the garden of eden?i hope this is the correct name…but anyway,there were big mosquitoes all over the place (big as in BIG– believe me)..they were really big…..the plan of staying there overnight made me change my mind right away because of those big mosquitoes ..i got scared for my boss…he might get dengue so we quickly got out of that place after having some pix taken..hahaha
    have you been there,bruce?
    i am so sorry, i did not want to put down the place..it is a very nice place but i just saw mosquitoes all over…

    • Bruce says:

      Evelyn,
      I would understand at Eden with all the gardens and nurseries growing vegetables there, there is a lot of water. We went there for a whole day and there was recent rain because I remember the mud in places. I do not remember seeing mosquitoes or being bitten. But your concern for your boss was a good idea.

  3. Jim says:

    I went to Eden Adventure Park, and stayed in one of the remote cabins for a few days, and I was bitten a couple of times, but nothing happened to me, it was quite safe to be bitten there by the ones I was bitten by, but I never saw any large mosquito. I did go to Lola’s Garden where they have the gazebo and the fake water buffalo with horns (black in color). It had a bird feeder type pond with aquatic flowers in it, simply beautiful. This was the high point of many months in the Philippines to stay there, for about $200 us dollars per night. Everyone has to leave by one pm or so so the paying people can be alone and appreciate the 95% planted jungle that is 30 years old now with 150 foot bamboo etc.

    If you go there again, you should see the Philippine eagles at Paradise Island, and the bat caves, if you can find them! You need to have someone with that knows what tiny dirt trail they call a road are down. Mostly Paradise Island has really good roads though, until you are almost at the bat caves. Any car can go down the road, it is not bad like some of the back roads on Camiguin are to the soda springs. There is another road to the Soda spring on Camiguin Island that is paved, but Camiguin is north of Cagayan De Oro, 8 hours or more from Davao. Nice drive though. Be careful out there, make sure locals are with you! I have wondered about Cagayan De Oro in the night, and was safe so far, and everyone was so nice. Got sort of followed one day, but when I turned around and looked down at him he just ran, perhaps because I am so tall maybe, or he lost his element of surprise. I think he saw me give 100 pesos to each kid that begged outside the church, or my wad I stuck in the donation box, just don’t do that, or let anyone see it!

    Thanks for your nice story, it brought back nice memories of that unbelievably beautiful, (and pretty much vacant) place called EDEN ADVENTURE PARK. Nice pool, peacocks making Tarzan movie sounds in the night, and I found mostly the water is running, not stagnant as most streams are man made there. (false falls as we said), but they obviously have natural sources that where redirected and natural looking stones placed for erosion control. Many sites to see there, and they grow the foods you eat. Nice buffet meals, and also to order foods where fantastic! Perfect for honeymoon weekend for $400 or so US dollars. You must have pesos though, or credit card. The road up to Eden is rough in places as of 2008, but a car will make it and it has good enough signage to find the place, JUST KEEP GOING! to the top. You will not need a car at Eden as they drive you anywhere for free the whole time you are there, as it is spread out. Take the tour, it is worth it, it stops at Lola’s Garden, that must be how you got there. There is even a tour where you can walk through the jungle, same tour, but sometimes they don’t do the walk. There are like 3 or 4 stops for 5 or 10 minutes to take pictures of the Mickey Mouse plants etc. many hanging flowers, like a fairytale there it is. Peaceful, and quiet is defined by this place.
    In the middle of the night the driver went and got me beer, and a lighter from outside the park for no charge other than the items… so I gave him a couple hundred pesos…don’t let your girlfriend see you give big tips like that!

    • Bruce says:

      Jim,

      Thank you for the information. I have been to Eden for a day trip, but we did not spend the night. I have yet to visit the other places. Elena has a fear of us traveling around Mindanao due to the NPA. I know many travel around and have no problems, but there is always the chance. I hope someday to visit all over the island and visit others too.

  4. Jim says:

    The place I would not go to, due to diseased mosquitoes is PALAWAN. You are talking Malaria, and dengue there. Just live life, take a risk, be careful, but go out and have some fun! Go see who you are not, until you find who you are.

    • Bruce says:

      Jim,
      As I stated in the last reply, I do want to travel this country more someday. I hope the finances and safety will not be a problem. Still trying to find a way to make some decent income here.

  5. Steve says:

    My dad lives in Boljoon and I have just found out he had Dengue fever. do most people recover?

    • Bruce says:

      Steve,
      From what I have read, most people recover from Dengue. Depending on how severe and the care. It is hardest on young children and older people with an already weaken condition. From what I have read, it lowers the platelets in the blood. Tawi-tawi is helpful to increase platelet count.

  6. Lynith Celeres says:

    Hi bruce!! remember me? 3 of our neighbours recently died because of dengue and all of them are children. Their parents thought that it’s just a normal fever so it got worse. It is a good thing you posted these information so that people mostly parents will be aware of dengue fever.

    and it’s Tawa-Tawa Bruce.. It’s really effective! You just have to boil the plant without the roots and let the patient drink the tea every 1 hour..

    • Bruce says:

      Lynith,
      I am sorry, I have a great memory of faces but a terrible memory for names. Next time you comment, you can remind me.
      I am glad you found my article informative. This is what I try to do with my site. I also thank you for clarifying the plant name and the directions for making Tawa-Tawa tea.

  7. Leizel says:

    bruce,
    hello nice to hear that you have plan to visit here in our country. By the way i live here in davao del sur of the philippines, particularly the Southwest area of our country.
    Unfortunately, our area has been news which one of the pandemic disease in such disease. People alarmed. Just a simple fever they will immediately go to the hospital.

    • Bruce says:

      Leizel,
      I do not have plans to visit your country, I lived there for 2 1/2 years and just recently moved back to the States.

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