Fear of COVID led to late check-up, hospitalization of dengue patients – CHD chief

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | May 20,2022 - 03:42 PM

Fear of COVID led to late check-up, hospitalization of dengue patients, says Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, acting city health department chief. | file photo

Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, Cebu City Health Department chief, says that one of the reasons that of the dengue deaths is that the patients mistake dengue symptoms as that of COVID-19. |CDN Digital file photo (Vhenna Marie Mantilla)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The rise of dengue deaths in Cebu City for January to May 2022 is attributed to the fear of patients to be hospitalized due to COVID-19 testing. 

Dr. Jeffrey Ibones, acting city health officer or City Health Department (CHD) chief, said that the symptoms of early stages of dengue was very similar to COVID-19 including fever and tiredness. 

“Mao na magtuo sila nga basin COVID nya magisolate na lang sila. Diha pa sila moadtog hospital kung magsuka-suka na,” said Ibones, who attributed fear of COVID-19 as a reason for patients to get medical attention.

(That is why they believed that what they were experiencing was COVID so they will just isolate themselves. Then they will only go to the hospital when they will start vomiting.)

Because of the pandemic, it is natural for hospitals to conduct triage for possible COVID-19 patients, and dengue patients may be mistaken for COVID in the early stages. 

Ibones urged the public that should they have a persisting fever of at least two days, then they must go to their doctor. 

“Pwede ra gyod CBC (complete blood count), madetect naman na dinha. No need naman gyod og dengue test, although dengue test naa ra na sa CCMC (Cebu City Medical Center),” said Ibones. 

(They can have CBC (complete blood count), that can be detected there. There’s no need for a dengue test, although the CCMC (Cebu City Medical Center) has a dengue test.)

The Infection Prevention Office of the CCMC said in the weekly Panaghisgot that they were ready to expand their dengue wards should an influx of dengue patients arrive. 

The necessary tests for dengue are also available at the CCMC anytime through the dengue fast lane. 

The CCMC is prepared to handle a possible rise in patients as well. 

The CHD encourages parents to closely monitor sick children especially their fever and other symptoms such as rashes, digestive problems, gum bleeding, and body malaise. 

Bleeding women may also experience prolonged menstruation coupled by fever when infected by dengue. 

When these symptoms start to show, they must consult a doctor. 

Ibones said that dengue as a virus had no particular cure, but symptomatic treatment would be done to help the body fight the disease. 

Increasing the fluid intake of the patient is necessary and for severe cases, other medicine may be prescribed.

Since children are the more likely to get infected, parents must be discerning and perceptive of the symptoms their children experience. 


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TAGS: CBC, CCMC, Cebu City Medical Center, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, COVID-19, dengue, Ibones, symptoms

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