The Dangers of Dengue Fever and Leptospirosis Amid COVID-19

May 17, 2022

Last June 12, 2020, The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) declared the start of the rainy season which also means the start of dengue, leptospirosis and other communicable diseases. 

Dengue virus is caused by female mosquitoes known as the Aeges Aegypti. This virus has been a problem since the Second World War specifically in Asia and South America which caused infections to millions of people every year, including deaths

From January 1 to May 2, 2020, a total of 48,194 dengue cases were reported in our country which is 40% lower compared to cases reported in the same period of 2019. Although a vaccine for dengue fever has been approved, it caused more harm than good to others, especially the young ones. After a thorough study, it is concluded in 2018 that only those who have been infected with dengue can receive the vaccine. This disease can be mild to severe and even fatal. 

If you are bitten by the mosquito carrier, symptoms will begin in 3 to 14 days after infection. Typically, 80% of the infected have mild symptoms such as high fever, while children who are at higher risk of severe complications experience colds, diarrhea, headache, joint pains and vomiting. 

Virus-carrying mosquitoes bite during the early morning or evening. That’s why, apart from doing health protocols against COVID-19, we also need to be well-informed and take necessary precautionary measures to protect our family and keep our homes safe from dengue virus. Get rid of standing water caused by heavy rainfall; Install screens to your windows and doors; Apply insect repellent; and wear protective clothes such as long sleeves or pajamas.

Severe dengue may damage the kidney, liver or heart. It can also drop the patient’s blood pressure to a critical level, resulting to death.

Here are the symptoms of severe dengue:

1. Black stool
2. Severe skin bleeding
3. Organ failure
4. Bloody urine
5. Respiratory distress
6. Low platelet count
7. High hematocrit count

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that can be transmitted directly through contaminated water with rodent urine and enters your skin through an open wound or abrasion. The person exposed to a contaminated source may start to feel sick between 2 to 14 days. Some may not develop any symptoms at all, but others, during the first phase of leptospirosis may experience high fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, vomiting or diarrhea. Most of these symptoms are often mistaken for other diseases. If detected early, this disease can be treated with antibiotics.

The dangers of leptospirosis happen in the second phase, if left untreated. These are:

1. Kidney damage
2. Meningitis
3. Liver failure
4. Respiratory distress

While everyone is being paranoid about the pandemic, getting sick these days can be physically, mentally and financially stressful most especially when the doctors suspect your symptoms to be COVID-19.

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Always pay attention to your health and listen to your body. Don’t ignore the red flags to avoid severe complications.