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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Friend with Dengue being treated with antibiotics?!?!

    A friend of ours here in Santiago has been diagnosed with Dengue Fever. It has been caught, apparently, in time, so it has not developed into the hemmorhagic kind. However, he has now spent his first night in the hospital, and they say he'll need to stay until they see an improvement in his platelet count, which has been at the 120 level ("normal" is apparently more than 450).

    We are going to see him later today and to try to talk to doctors. His family is upset because doctors have not been available to talk with them. He is at the Union Medica on JP Duarte. We speak very poor Spanish (though we are learning), but he and his family are all native speakers. They are Dominicans who have lived in the US for many years and have only recently returned, so their understanding of present-day practicalities seems to be almost as minimal as ours. We are concerned that the doctors have given them so little attention, and we are going to try to help.

    They also said that he has been given a LOT of antibiotics, which seems really stupid. As far as I understand, dengue is viral, and there's no reason to give antibiotics. I thought it was only in the US that doctors had this foolish practice of administering antibiotics when not needed, just to give the impression of doing something.

    Right now I'm trying to research what SHOULD be done. I would appreciate any guidance on this topic, especially w/r/t what kinds of diet can help increase platelet count. Also, if anyone can advise about the competence of Union Medica, and/or any doctors there or elsewhere, it would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thanks in advance. We are really worried. I have seen people die in hospitals.

    Noel

  2. #2
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    Hi Noel,
    I had dengue fever along with the rest of my family (9) in Santiago in the late 60's. I can't recall the type of medicine we got, but I can tell you that there wasn't enough for 9 people, so my mom, an RN, doled it out as needed. We all had full recoveries in spite of not having enough medicine or being in the hospital. I'm sure we were ALL miserable. The worst symptom I remember was the incredible pain in my eye sockets whenever I moved my eyes.
    Recovery is quite do-able.
    Good luck.
    mkohn

  3. #3
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    I had a bad bout with dengue fever about three years ago. Unfortunately, I didn't know what I had until weeks later, when I learned that many of my nearby neighbors had had it and several died from the disease. Like the flu, dengue fever has no cure and will take its course. Treatment is symptomatic, and more important, there's a checklist of tell-tale signs of hemorrhaging, which at the slightest evidence, blood transfusions should be available on an emergency basis.

    Mirador

  4. #4
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    From an earlier Thread, I did, when my son had it.


    DENGE FEVER!! The whole Thread...



    ******************************************

    Dengue Fever and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) have become a major threat to the health of some 2.5 billion people worldwide (3). Dengue virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, but in recent years, Aedes albopictus has also become an important vector (7). Due to the nature of the vector, this disease is considered a problem mainly in the tropics, but there have been reports of cases in Texas and Florida (2). Humans appear to be the only known reservoirs for both Dengue and DHF.

    This virus has four flavors, called serotypes, which are creatively named 1,2,3 and 4. Getting infected with one serotype does not protect you against the other serotypes; in fact, getting a second dengue infection, particularly with type 2, leads to an even worse infection. This manifests as either Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome, which can be fatal. These are particularly dangerous in children, who suffer the most and who are at the greatest risk of dying from dengue. Still, most cases of dengue are benign (not-serious), ending after approximately 7 days.

    Dengue Fever and DHF are similar in presentation, but there are some notable differences. A high fever, typically up to 105*F, rash, nausea and vomiting, headache, and pain behind the eyes are all common symptoms (7). Severe muscle and joint pain are also frequently cited, which is why this disease was originally termed "breakbone fever" (2).
    This stage is followed by severe hemorrhagic manifestations, such as tendency to bruise easily or other types of skin hemorrhages, bleeding nose or gums, and possibly internal bleeding. Excessive plasma leakage from small vessels may lead to shock, followed by death, if circulatory failure is not corrected.

    Dengue has a short incubation period - often days, usually less than a week. The signs and symptoms of dengue include a sudden, rapidly climbing fever, a severe headache, nausea & vomiting, loss of appetite, rash and deep muscle and joint pains. The disease is nicknamed 'breakbone fever' for these last two symptoms. The rash usually shows up 3-4 days after the start of the symptoms and begins on the torso, spreading out to the face, arms and legs.

    There can be a few days respite but the fever and rash often recur, and this is known as the 'saddleback pattern'. With Dengue Hemorrhagic Feverr the blood cells are crippled and bleeding develops - in the gums, the skin, the intestinal tract. With the shock syndrome the blood vessels don't work quite right, and the blood pressure drops precipitously; as a result the blood fails to meet the metabolic demands of the cells in the body - which is the definition of shock.

    Currently there is not a vaccine available for Dengue virus (4). Researchers in Thailand are closest to developing a vaccine, but the earliest it would be available for wide dissemination is in 5-10 years (1). The best way to stop the spread of the disease is to cover anyone afflicted with dengue with mosquito netting in order to limit the number of mosquitoes who contract it from a human. It is also a good idea to get rid of any standing water in your yard, as this is the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.
    Thanks
    Tim H.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by noel
    A friend of ours here in Santiago has been diagnosed with Dengue Fever. It has been caught, apparently, in time, so it has not developed into the hemmorhagic kind. However, he has now spent his first night in the hospital, and they say he'll need to stay until they see an improvement in his platelet count, which has been at the 120 level ("normal" is apparently more than 450).

    We are going to see him later today and to try to talk to doctors. His family is upset because doctors have not been available to talk with them. He is at the Union Medica on JP Duarte. We speak very poor Spanish (though we are learning), but he and his family are all native speakers. They are Dominicans who have lived in the US for many years and have only recently returned, so their understanding of present-day practicalities seems to be almost as minimal as ours. We are concerned that the doctors have given them so little attention, and we are going to try to help.

    They also said that he has been given a LOT of antibiotics, which seems really stupid. As far as I understand, dengue is viral, and there's no reason to give antibiotics. I thought it was only in the US that doctors had this foolish practice of administering antibiotics when not needed, just to give the impression of doing something.

    Right now I'm trying to research what SHOULD be done. I would appreciate any guidance on this topic, especially w/r/t what kinds of diet can help increase platelet count. Also, if anyone can advise about the competence of Union Medica, and/or any doctors there or elsewhere, it would be GREATLY appreciated.

    Thanks in advance. We are really worried. I have seen people die in hospitals.

    Noel
    Dominican doctors really enjoy giving out anti-biotics. More than American doctors even. They also love sueros and injecciones. If you don't believe me, tell one you have a cold. I would bet 100 dollars that they will send you to the Pharmacy to get some Amoxicillan.

  6. #6
    Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
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    Quote Originally Posted by noel
    A friend of ours here in Santiago has been diagnosed with Dengue Fever. It has been caught, apparently, in time, so it has not developed into the hemmorhagic kind. However, he has now spent his first night in the hospital, and they say he'll need to stay until they see an improvement in his platelet count, which has been at the 120 level ("normal" is apparently more than 450).

    They also said that he has been given a LOT of antibiotics, which seems really stupid. As far as I understand, dengue is viral, and there's no reason to give antibiotics.
    Well the good news is unless he had type 2 before he isn't likely to get hemorrhagic dengue (DHF) since it doesn't progress from one type to another.


    I agree the antibiotics are a waste of time and just aid bacteria to become immune if they haven't already to what they are using.

    Dengue passes with time, as I can attest since I caught it myself in August last year and it took over a month to get better. I had encephalitis like symptoms as I discovered as I walked at a 45 degree angle to where I thought I was going, on a street in Boca Chica , without drinking a drop that day.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by noel
    They also said that he has been given a LOT of antibiotics, which seems really stupid. As far as I understand, dengue is viral, and there's no reason to give antibiotics.
    My son was in the Union Medica last June with an intestinal infection and was given high doses of 2 different antibiotics. A few days later they said that the infection was viral in nature, but that they would continue the antibiotics to treat a mild throat infection he had developed. My wife complained and made the doctor agree to stop the treatment.

    When he came back to the states he still had some pain and irregular bowel movements, so we took him to his regular doctor right away. He diagnosed that the infection had disappeared, but he had some form of indigestion caused by an antibiotic overdose. As it turns out, the antibiotics they gave him did nothing but kill all the "friendly" bacteria in his GI tract.

    My recommendation? Talk to the doctor and ask if it would be ok to stop the antibiotics. If you have a hard time finding the doctor, ask around and find where his or her office is. Chances are it may be right next to the hospital.

  8. #8
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    Default thank you

    Many thanks to all who have posted here! We are feeling a lot better about our friend. We visited him yesterday and he looks like he is doing all right, just itching to get out of the hospital (I can understand that!). We will ask the doctor about whether the antibiotics can be curtailed as soon as possible, or if something can be given to help avoid the depletion of "friendly" GI bacteria.

  9. #9
    Grande Pollo en Boca Chica
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    Quote Originally Posted by noel
    or if something can be given to help avoid the depletion of "friendly" GI bacteria.
    Yogurt with live culture is what you want to use there.

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