Dengue or Chikungunya? Epidemiologists recommend a differential diagnosis
SD. If you are a doctor, and receive a patient with the symptoms of the chikungunya virus (high fever, pain in the joints, skin eruptions, nausea, and such), you should follow the instructions of the “Guide for clinical handling for the infection by the chikungunya virus,” presented by the Ministry of Public Health, considered by epidemiologists as the “key” to be able to discard the suffering from other epidemics with the same symptoms (such as dengue).
“The problem is that many times we let ourselves be influenced by the fact that now we have the chikungunya. Forgetting that in the country we have endemic fever illnesses such as dengue, and that at this time of the year in which the rains increase tend to increase, because the mosquito population also increases. These are the vectors that transmit the disease,” explained the epidemiologist at the Hugo Mendoza Pediatric Hospital, Dr. Mirna Jimenez to the Diario Libre.
The doctor agreed with the director o the Center of Tropical Diseases (Cencet), epidemiologist Dr. Jose Manuel Puello, in that with the differential diagnosis-established in the Guide-they can find out if it is the chikungunya that the patient is suffering from. “The platelets can go down in both diseases (dengue and chikungunya), although the reduction is greater in the case of dengue,” said Puello.
The chikungunya manual, the first of this type in the Latin America region, instructs the medical personnel on how to determine the virus in its different stages and how to treat it.
Dr. Mercedes Castro, the epidemiologist at the Luis Eduardo Aybar Hospital, recommended to the people with fever to go to a medical facility to carry out the differentiation.
Dengue continues to increase
The Directorate General of Epidemiology reported 3,617 probable cases and 40 deaths to week 27, for a rate of 67.9 probable cases per 100,000 inhabitants
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