It’s the school holidays and you can’t spend time with your children as you’re sick.
You have bad rashes all over your body and can’t sleep.
You can’t be there and help your wife, who is pregnant, to look after the home and family.
How would you feel, and what would you do if this happened to you?
Johnson Chee and his family. Photo courtesy of Johnson Chee.
This was what happened to Mr Johnson Chee, just one week before the school holidays.
Mr Chee, a PE teacher at a Primary School, started having high fever and developed rashes.
He went to the hospital and got a blood test done and it was confirmed that he had contracted dengue.
Dengue is an unpredictable disease – one cannot predict who will develop severe dengue also called dengue hemorrhagic fever, which can be life-threatening.
He was hospitalised for seven days and was on drips due to high fever. Mr Chee was not able to sleep as he developed intense rashes on his body, which caused much pain and discomfort. Acquiring dengue also triggered other health-related issues and affected his renal system.
Generally, 1 in 5 people diagnosed with dengue in Singapore requires cost-intensive hospital care, which can cost an estimated US$3,167 per case.
While he was hospitalised, his wife, who was pregnant with the third child, had to take care of the other two young children on her own. He also had to miss the quality time that he could spend with his family as it was school holidays.
Today, the father of three religiously uses mosquito repellent and patches on his kids and on himself to prevent getting bitten by a mosquito.
In Singapore, the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported a cumulative total of 13,115 dengue cases in 2016, a 16% year-on-year increase over the total of 11,298 cases reported in 2015. As at 16 May this year, the National Environment Agency (NEA) has recorded a cumulative total of 998 reported cases of dengue.
Speaking about the pain he went through, Mr Chee said, “If there is a preventive measure such as a vaccine, I am willing to take it for himself and get my kids vaccinated so they do not have to experience the pain I went through.”
See also: Symptoms of dengue fever in children
Here are tips on how you can protect yourself and those around you from getting dengue.
1. Do The 5-Step Mozzie Wipeout
The National Environment Agency (NEA) has been educating the community for a number of years about the 5 step Mozzie Wipeout to ensure we are not responsible for the breeding of Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
Click here to find out what are the steps to prevent dengue.
2. Always Keep An Insect Repellent Handy
The next time when you go to your neighbourhood playground with your kids or go outside near trees, remember to spray them with insect repellent or you can stick the mosquito repellent patch on their clothes to prevent mosquito bites.
3. Educate Your Kids On How To Prevent Dengue
As an adult, it is important for you to maintain good hygiene practices to keep dengue at bay but at the same time, it is essential as a parent to teach your kids the significance of dengue prevention and how it all starts at home.
4. Avoid Highly Populated Dengue Hot Spot Areas
Avoid travelling to areas that have been classified as dengue hot spot by NEA. When taking the kids to the park or to the mall, choose areas that have minimal exposure to insects and avoid walking along the drains that potentially could store water allowing for mosquito breeding.
5. Do Everything You Can To Prevent Dengue
Now you can further protect yourself against dengue. Talk to your doctor today.
Take control of your life and health today!
Sanofi Pasteur is launching “Be a Wall against Dengue” to educate the community on managing their exposure to dengue.
If you are are interested to find out more about what to do to lower the risk or burden of dengue, visit their Facebook for more info.
Share your protection and prevention tips against dengue. Use the hashtag #BeAWallAgainstDengue!