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March 2014 Dengue Fever

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 3:47 pm
by JennyG
We just spent an idyllic 10 days in Tobago ... and Steve it was great meeting you and your wife at Hibiscus Heights .... but unfortunately my MD husband had the misfortune to come down with Dengue Fever. We did have bug spray with us ... but you know how it is when on vacation and having such a great time ... and seriously we only saw about three mosquitoes the entire trip! I think the day we should have been most vigilant and perhaps were not ,was a trip up to Spryside .. side trips to Argyle Falls and Little Tobago ... as this fits the timeline of the onset of symptoms.. which began on the plane home when he had a fever and severe chills, headache and pain behind his eyes. By the time we arrived back in NS he was complaining of severe joint pain and generalized all over aching. Two days later a rash ( which looked like pin prick scabs) developed on his back and blood work showed a marked drop in his white blood count ( another red flag for Dengue) Normally an infection sends the WBC high. As the week progressed the rash progressed all over his body and looked more like a measles rash. With a busy medical practice he struggled through the week but is spending the weekend under the covers which is probably were he should have been all week according to the literature. More blood work has been done and if anything comes back on this I will re post. This would certainly not stop either of us visiting Tobago again as we found it a truly magical place, with special people and felt the safest we ever did on a beach vacation I would just like to give future guests a heads up to 1) Be aware of the risks as Dengue is there 2) Use mosquito repellant liberally ..esp if you will be walking in the rain forest or other rural spots.

Re: March 2014 Dengue Fever

Posted: Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:32 pm
by Steve Wooler
Hello Jenny

What a shame. In truth, In the 50-odd years I have been visiting Tobago, I have only ever met less than a dozen people who have suffered Dengue Fever. I sincerely hope that he recovers soon and that it does not taint your recollections of Tobago too much. As you say, visitors should be aware of the dangers and use a good repellent liberally at all times.

Re: March 2014 Dengue Fever

Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:57 pm
by Rachel Crew
Unfortunately dengue is more common than you might perceive, Steve. Although it is more likely during rainy season, there are often people admitted to the Scarborough hospital after contracting it.Sadly last year a lady died here in Tobago from the haemorrhagic form (severe but thankfully rare).

Re: March 2014 Dengue Fever

Posted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:20 pm
by Dr Stefan Rustscheff
Even if Dengue is rather common, haemorrhagic Dengue is not. Dengue has four different subtypes, and more than 90% of Dengue haemorrhagic fever is caused when a semi-immune patient who has had Dengue of one variety picks up another one. So if You live in the Caribbean where fewer subtypes exist You are less at risk. But if You travel to SE Asia where all subtypes exist You are at higher risk when having had it once. By the way. Being black protects against Dengue haemorrhagic fever. And being older. Even if DHF is dramatic, it still has a mortality of less than 1% with good supportive care. Many influenza epidemics have a higher mortality.