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Beware of dengue in this time of COVID-19

With most hospitals at full capacity today, patients who need emergency care for ailments that have nothing to do with the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are in very serious danger.

A few days ago, we nearly lost our lawyer-daughter, Gail, who was suffering from a recurring fever. We did not know if she had COVID-19 or another virus and no hospital in Metro Manila would admit her, even in their emergency room. My wife and I are both senior citizens and it was very frustrating when we were not allowed to accompany her.

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Here is my daughter’s personal account of what she went through.

“I’m sharing this to remind you to protect yourself from dengue.

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On Thursday, July 30, I started having stomach cramps. They eventually subsided but I developed a fever with my temperature hovering between 39.5 and 39.9. I took a swab test the next day and the result was negative. I don’t remember how I was able to drive from Rockwell to Palacio de Manila and back. My temperature went down to 37.8 and 38 but I had diarrhea which was odd since I had not eaten since lunch on Thursday.

I didn’t sleep that night and on Saturday night. I couldn’t pray because I couldn’t remember my prayers so I just held on to my rosary. I began talking to my Lola to tell God, ‘This is it; that I have no more fight in me.’

Sunday morning, Kuya Dennis Mark fetched me from the condo and brought me to Skyline Hospital in San Jose del Monte town, Bulacan province, where our cousin-doctor, Daniele Calda works. The doctors confirmed I had dengue. My platelet count was 58 (normal was 140). My body was shutting down and doctors told me to prepare for the worst as I was in critical condition.

I started to bleed profusely, had a complete blood count every four to eight hours to monitor my platelet and was given an IV infusion of potassium.

On Tuesday, my platelet was down to 18 so my doctor said I should undergo platelet transfusion but they couldn’t find any. Thank God, Philippine Red Cross had available stocks of my blood type. At 11 p.m., Kuya drove from Bulacan to Port Area, Manila, to get an initial seven bags of platelet concentrate.

The nurses stayed in my room to monitor me because my platelet count went down to 10.

By Thursday, they had transfused 11 bags of platelet concentrate and increased my count to 29. The doctors were also finally able to stop my bleeding.

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On Saturday, my doctor OKd my discharge as my platelet count was up to 132.

I’m now resting at home. I’m still not 100 percent and can’t stand for very long. I’m weak but improving.

I lost 10 pounds and a lot of hair.

So please, the moment you feel you have a fever, don’t be like me. Don’t wait, go to the hospital ASAP. I know it’s hard to go to the hospital right now but you must go. There are five strains of dengue. If you’re ‘lucky’ like me, you might get the deadlier strain; don’t wait. My daily routine consisted of shuttling between the office and my house. “

* * *

We are not angry at Metro Manila hospitals that could not help my daughter at her time of need. But what about other families in a similar situation? We were just lucky.

As my daughter said, “Truly, when the oceans rise and thunders roar, I will soar with you above the storm. Father, You are King over the flood. I will be still, know You are God.”

Thank you, Lord.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, dengue, Jake J. Maderazo, Sharp Edges
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