Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Tropical Disease

They had just flown in explained a father at 1 a.m. While in Hawaii, their two year-old had suffered mosquito bites followed after a few days by fever, restlessness, and refusal to eat. Checking the internet (my heart sank….) he learned about dengue fever.

I explained that dengue is a viral infection that produces the usual symptoms of a viral infection (fever, body aches, general misery) and has no cure. He agreed but pointed out that deadly complications, although uncommon, did occur, and he wanted the child examined.

Before leaving, I consulted a medical book to refresh my knowledge of dengue fever. I’ve never seen a case. The child did not seem terribly ill. Certainly there was no sign of shock or internal bleeding, the typical complication.

I reassured the parents.

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