The transition season arrives, parents need to be aware of the increased risk of dengue fever in children – Dengue hemorrhagic fever aka DHF is one of the health problems of children that parents need to be aware of, when the weather enters the transition season.

It was said the Pediatrician Consultant for Infectious & Tropical Pediatric Diseases from the University of Indonesia, Dr. dr. Debbie Latupeirissa, Sp.A (K), DHF needs to be watched out for because of the risk of causing the child’s death.

“Entering the transition season, various health problems in tropical countries are back. One thing to watch out for is dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF),” said the doctor who practices at Pondok Indah Hospital – Bintaro Jaya.

DHF is caused by the dengue virus which is carried by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. This disease is characterized by typical symptoms such as high fever without other symptoms, for example without cough, runny nose, or shortness of breath. Some patients also complain of symptoms of pain behind the eyes, headaches, joint pain, to the appearance of red patches on the skin or bleeding.

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Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes transmit the dengue virus.  (Source: Shutterstock)
Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes transmit the dengue virus. (Source: Shutterstock)

“However, usually red patches on the skin are not visible in the early days,” said Debbie.

According to Debbie, although it is a self-limiting disease or a disease that can heal on its own, it is not uncommon for dengue fever to cause fatalities if not treated quickly. Moreover, if the DHF patient has entered a dangerous phase, and occurs in younger children who have not been able to express their condition. Therefore, not a few DHF patients are then hospitalized to be monitored more closely.

Regarding the course of the disease, there are three phases of DHF, ie days 1-3 are called the febrile phase without bleeding. In this phase, there are usually early symptoms such as high fever, headache, joint pain, and pain behind the eyeball.

After entering days 4-5, the fever tends to go down. At this stage, the patient begins to enter a critical phase. In the case of pediatric patients, most parents are not aware of this phase when the fever goes down so they think their little one has started to recover.

In fact, at this stage the risk of shock is much greater. In addition, there can also be a further decrease in platelets which is characterized by bleeding, such as nosebleeds, bleeding gums or spontaneous red spots on the skin.

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In the critical phase there is seepage of blood plasma so that there is an increase in blood viscosity or hematocrit and this is important to watch out for. In this phase, the patient requires a lot of fluids by drinking a lot or giving intravenous fluids.