Valuable medical advancement
(The Philippine Star) - March 4, 2020 - 12:00am

We must congratulate Dr. Raul Destura, head of the Institutes of Health medical researches of UP Manila, who developed the Biotek-M Dengue Aqua Kit, a rapid testing process to detect the viral infection dengue. The only thing lacking in this kit at this time is that it cannot distinguish whether it is dengue fever (DF), the minor form of the illness, or dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF), the more serious form.

Dengue fever has an incubation period of five to seven days, with fever, sometimes cough, often with superficial non-pitting skin rash and resolves in seven days, without complications and do not require hospitalization. These patients must be closely guarded for any signs of bleeding from the nose and from the gi-tract. Dengue hemorrhagic fever however, is the most serious form, with bleeding tendencies to vital organs like the brain, lungs, kidneys and whole of the gastro-intestitract. If bleeding is profuse, it can lead to hemorrhagic shock and often called the dengue hemorrhagic syndrome. Corticosteroids had been tried to combat shock but to no avail. All DHF patients need absolute hospitalization. Mortality is 10 percent. But out of the 10 diagnosed, still 10 percent can be salvaged with early diagnosis, prompt and aggressive transfusion of blood-rich concentrated platelets.

Incidence of DF in any community is about 90 percent and can be treated at home. Generally, we will be avoiding overcrowding hospital admissions which occurred in previous years when we had an outbreak of dengue. – Eliseo R. Reblando, MD, Director, Sta. Veronica General Clinic, Olongapo City

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