Dengue is still a threat to many

The actual death rate amongst people who are suffering from Dengue fever might not be as high as it used to be in the past, but I painfully know myself what this can do to a persons life. With two infections within 10 months of eachother, it almost brought the end of days for me.†Each trip back home to Thailand, I try to protect myself as best as I can, because I know, and Ive been told, that if this happens to me again, there is no way I’ll be that lucky again.†I’m still amazed that such a tiny insect can cause so much harm, so much pain and suffering, and in some cases, even death. †

Its with great fear in my mind I remember being checked in to the hospital in Bangkok that frist time, and the doctor looked at me, while putting me into a completely air-sealed†“tent”, and†asking for permission to test me for several diseases, including West Nile Virus, Ebola and Dengue Fever -†lucky†for me, it was the†best one" of these three. I had never really heard or known so much about any of these three, except from Ebola off course. But, I had always believed that this could never happen to me, and that it could never happen in Bangkok. It was then I first realized that it has always been quite common, and that the fumigation I’ve seen so many times in the side-streets throughout the country, actually had a very important purpose. I guess we will never be able to fully comprehend anything before we are faced with the harsh facts of reality.†That first encounter, I managed quite well - as far as I can vaguely remember - I remember it was like a really heavy flue, with fevers, shivering and total lack of appetite. †

The next time, it turned bad quite fast. The emergency room doctors looked at my files and was surprised to see that I had been checked in just 10 months earlier for Dengue Fever, and the doctor now immediately suspected the same story to have happened again. I remember he asking for permission once again to do the tests for the three bleeding-disorders. From there, it was like a horror movie where you are the main character and you could do nothing to stop or pause the film, slowly being drained for blood that had completely turned dark-black like the darkest night. The black colored blood in my bed scared the be-Jesus out of me. There wasnt much the hospital could do during my first days, other than to ease my pain and hold my hands. I bled the bed full day after day, and my hair gradually (and†luckily†only partially) fell off, before I eventually after many days started picking myself up again. The road to recovery was very long and extremely painful for many reasons, not only because of the physical impact but also because of the emotional†consequences. Even today, more than a decade later, Im still suffering from the after effects of Dengue Fever. But, honestly, these effects arent that bad any longer: as humans we are true masters at adapting and getting used to almost anything. †

The image below shows a pest control worker in Bangkok fumigating a community as a measure to combat the spread of dengue fever, which has claimed 10 lives so far this year, and with 6.957 patients falling ill.†

Stay safe people - be aware, but do not be afraid! Live each day as it was your last one, and appreciate the small and big things in life.†

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