Colombo doctors prepare for Dengue

With another Dengue fever outbreak likely in the next two months, doctors are trying to prepare for an increase in patients.

Last year, “there was a time no hospitals had beds,” Consultant Physician Dr. Ananda Wijewickrama recalled at Lanka Hospitals Wednesday.

“But we have learned lessons,” he added. “We’ve had a lot of experience treating patients.”

Dr.Wijewickrama said many Dengue patients will recover on their own, and don’t need to go to the hospital. “What’s necessary is rest and fluids,” he said.

But he admitted that it’s hard to tell which patients will develop complications like vomiting, pain, and bleeding, which require hospitalisation.

Dr.Mahesh Harishchandra, a consulting physician at Lanka Hospitals, said there are several warning signs people should be aware of. “The fever actually goes down before complications,” he said. Other signs are decreased urine output, and dizziness.

“If your fever goes down and you continue to be weak with no urine output, complications are coming,” he said. “The resolution of fever does not mean you are necessarily better.”

The doctors urged people to keep their homes and neighbourhoods free of mosquito-breeding areas, like standing water and open garbage, and to monitor their health as the season approaches. They also said Dengue patients taking precautions to not get bit again while they are sick could vastly reduce the spread of fever.

“The rates of dengue cases are already rising in the Kurunegala, Kandy, and Jaffna areas,”doctors said. “This is the time to direct people for prevention,” Dr.Harishchandra said. “We are anticipating an epidemic, rather than waiting for it.”


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