The Philippines is always on the alert for dengue cases, especially during the rainy season. Since it’s so common and has no definitive cure, folkloric dengue cures come up. But what is the most effective dengue treatment? Simply, rest and hydration, says Dr. Allan Jake C. Dela Cruz.
Rest and Hydration: Best Dengue Treatment
Dr. Allan Jake C. Dela Cruz is from Saint Louis University Hospital of the Sacred Heart in Baguio City. During his visit to Bacolod City, Dr. Dela Cruz discussed facts about dengue and how it can be effectively managed.
The doctor said that not all dengue cases need to be hospitalized. Many can just stay home, rest in bed, and drink lots of fluid. It should be at least 5 glasses of water per day. The patient should also be able to urinate once every six hours.
When a patient has fever, this should only be managed with paracetamol. Other than that, the caregiver should see to it that the patients’ immunity should be boosted. They could eat more nutritious foods and supplement with vitamins and minerals. This is the body’s best defense weapon against dengue.
Dengue Myths Busted
Dr. Dela Cruz also busts some myths about dengue fever.
The dengue virus cannot be transmitted through the sharing of utensils or using the same toilet. People can only be infected if they get bitten by an infected mosquito.
However, if there is a dengue patient in the house who gets bitten by a mosquito, the next person that the mosquito bites may get infected as well.
Use of antibiotics.
Since it is a viral disease, the administration of antibiotics is not needed for those with dengue. The best defense is to strengthen the body’s immune system to fight off the virus.
Dengue patients who are not bleeding do not need a platelet concentrate transfusion. But bleeding or not, hydration is vital to patient’s well-being and recovery.
Dengue treatment food.
There are no dengue treatment food, like those white stuff usually fed to patients. However, patients need nutritious food to boost their immunity and combat dengue.
When Should a Dengue Patient be Hospitalized?
In the first three days, dengue will manifest with a fever. When the fever subsides on the fourth day, this does not mean that the patient is already in the safe zone.
In fact, the 4th to the 5th day are most critical. This is the time when the patient can go into shock, organ impairment, and bleeding. The 6th to the 10th day is the period of recovery.
But as long as the patient does not exhibit warning signs and can get sufficient care at home, there’s no need to be hospitalized.
Dengue Warning Signs
However, Dr. Dela Cruz said that the caregiver should watch out for dengue warning signs.
At the onset, the patient should be brought to the hospital immediately. Below are the dengue warning signs that should be monitored:
- Abdominal pain or tenderness
- Persistent vomiting
- Clinical fluid accumulation
- Mucosal bleed
- Lethargy or restlessness
- Liver enlargement greater than 2cm
- Laboratory increases in Hct concurrent with rapid decrease in platelet count
About Tawa-Tawa for Dengue Cure
Dr. Dela Cruz did not say that the herbal plant called Tawa-tawa, which is commonly used for dengue, does not work. He just said that no large clinical trials have been conducted using tawa-tawa.
“Tawa-tawa has not been proven safe and effective in clinical trials.”Dr. Allan Jake Dela Cruz
So we cannot summarily say that tawa-tawa works. Plus, we can’t say that it doesn’t have adverse side effects on the other organs of the body.
In short, tawa-tawa has not been proven safe and effective in clinical trials, according to Dr. Dela Cruz. He said that is why researchers are being encouraged to come up with a study to prove this herb’s efficacy.
IgCO Skim Milk Powder Improves Immunity
There is a new milk product that is being marketed to hasten the recovery process of dengue patients. It is called IgCo, short for immunoglobulin colostrum that was taken from cows.
Taking cow’s or bovine colustrom is used to boost a person’s immune system. Colostrum is the rich first milk that comes out of the mammary glands. In humans, mothers are encouraged to latch their kids upon childbirth to stimulate breastfeeding and so that babies can take the colostrum.
Patients who tested positive for dengue were given IgCo in a clinical trial of 46 respondents. It was proven that those who took IgCo drastically improved the conditions of dengue patients.
Trials tests show that IgCo:
- Serves as a safe adjunct
- Decreases fever clearance time
- Lowers severity grade of probable dengue signs and warning signs
- Decreases incidence of headache, myalgia, arthralgia, and mucosal bleeding
- Decrease in severity grade of increased hemoglobin level, decreased WBC count, decreased platelet count
IgCo can clearly boost a patient’s immune system and fight off dengue effectively. But remember, IgCo is not a medicine or a cure. It is a milk food supplement. People who have auto immune diseases as well as those who have cough, allergies, or colds can also benefit from it.
Western Visayas Cases
The Region VI, or Western Visayas, has among the highest cases of deaths related to dengue in the country. It’s heartbreaking to learn when a family loses their kids through sickness. Let’s be armed with information about this sickness.
Conclusions on Dengue
With proper care, nutrition, rest, and adequate fluids, dengue is not life threatening. Adult patients who suspect they have dengue should immediately rest. Furthermore, they should not “endure” their malady because that’s when the disease gets to the critical phase fast.
However, if the patient is an infant, toddler, pregnant woman, or those with pre-existing health conditions, they should be hospitalized immediately. Furthermore, those who got sick with dengue the second time are more at risk to health complications. They should see a doctor immediately.
IgCo Price and Availability
Each IgCo sachet is a 15mg powder of immunoglobulin colostrum. Adults can take once or twice daily before meals. It should be dissolved in cold or lukewarm water. DO NOT USE HOT WATER. Meanwhile, children from 3 years old onwards can take 1/2 to 1 sachet per day.
A box of 10 sachets is P850 while a box of 30s is P2,500. IgCo is available at Mercury Drugstore and Negros Grace Pharmacy. IgCo is exclusively distributed in the Philippines by Bell-Kenz Pharma Inc.
Note: Results of the IgCo clinical trial are published as:
Dela Cruz, A.J. (2018). The Effect of Standard hydration therapy with Immunoglobulin colostrum versus Standard hydration therapy with Placebo in hospitalized patients with Dengue Fever with warning signs: A Randomized, Double Blind, controlled trial. The Philippine College of Physicians