Last update: 05-Dec-2013 1:31 am
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Minister: Neuro dengue on the rise
There has been an increase in the cases of “neuro dengue” affecting children. So said Health Minister Fuad Khan yesterday while delivering the feature address at the opening ceremony of the world congress of surgery, obstetrics, trauma and anaesthesia at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. “What were are finding is there has been an increase of neuro dengue and we are looking at that aspect of it. Neuro dengue is where children are coming in and they are going into some fits,” Khan said.
The minister, however, could not provide any statistics, only saying the number of children being affected by neuro dengue was “more than usual.” He added: “Normally we will see dengue as it is but the children affected by neuro dengue come from all over. “The method of approach is to keep the temperature down.” Asked what exactly contributed to children getting fits Khan said: “Dengue is something which causes high fevers and it irritates the neurological system.
“And I also recommend you do not use any aspirin-type drugs. Use paracetamol-type drugs instead.” Saying there was no vaccine to fight the virus, Khan said it was important for people to clean their surroundings constantly. The Health Ministry, he added, would also step up the fight against dengue as insector vector control employees would be asked to spray inside people’s homes. “If we come into your homes to spray it means you have to cover all your utensils for 24 hours after,” Khan added.
On the issue of swine flu he said some 300 swabs had been taken from children who came into the Paediatric Unit of the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope, displaying symptoms. Khan, however, said that was nothing but the common cold. “At the end of the day it (swine flu) seems to be under control so people need not panic at that level,” Khan said. To make surgeries easier, Khan said he planned to approach Cabinet to purchase a robotic system, which was estimated to cost $6 million, to aid in surgical procedures.
Dengue fever facts
Dengue fever is a disease caused by a family of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes. Symptoms: Headache, fever, exhaustion, severe joint and muscle pain, swollen glands and rash. The presence of fever, rash, and headache and other pains (the” dengue triad”) is particularly characteristic of dengue fever. The acute phase of the illness with fever and myalgias lasts about one to two weeks.
Dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) is a specific syndrome that tends to affect children under ten years of age. It causes abdominal pain, hemorrhage (bleeding), and circulatory collapse (shock). The prevention of dengue fever requires control or eradication of the mosquitoes carrying the virus that causes it. There is currently no vaccine available for the fever.
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