'Home remedy'

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'Home remedy'

St Mary woman says children believed to have dengue treated at home after doctors rule out virus

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Senior staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, December 09, 2019

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A St Mary woman who was convinced that three of her family members contracted the dengue virus took matters into her own hands, administering “home remedy” which she claimed has cured them.

Inez Malcolm of Coleraine Pines in central St Mary said her 14-year-old nephew was the first of four relatives to contract the virus that is suspected to have killed at least 61 people since January 2018.

Malcolm, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer North and East, recalled that her nephew returned home from school last month with an unusually high fever.

She said initially, the family thought to take him to the hospital but decided against it, opting to use a home remedy.

“The next day him get up strong but then him start get weak, and way down in the evening him just walk out and drop down. So we rush wid him to the Annotto Bay Hospital. When we go there them run tests and seh them a go put him on the ward,” Malcolm recounted.

She said doctors later confirmed that the teen had contracted the virus.

He was reportedly treated and released.

“Couple days after, that one,” she said pointing to her five-year-old son, “appear with the same symptoms but all the tests weh them a do and everything weh dem a do, mi still pay money fi find out a wah and them a tell mi seh a nuh dengue.”

Malcolm said despite doctors' prognosis, she was still convinced that her son had contracted the virus after he was released from the hospital.

“Couple days after two more of them [grandson and nephew]contract the same thing. Mi nuh carry them a nuh hospital, Miss. Mi take care of them a yard because what them basically do at the hospital, them just like seh give them some fever medicine and just tell you seh fluid, fluid whatever, whatever. So, mi just do the same thing a yard. Mi give them the fluid, give them the fever and the pain medicine, and take care of them,” the woman said, without getting into specifics.

“It come with rashes, [itching] and it unbearable like fi two days. Mi a seh a weh this likkle disease come from a take up everybody suh? When the [itching] start pon them it nuh normal. Mi affi a do all kind of something fi help them,” she added.

Malcolm told Observer North & East that days later, representatives from the Ministry of Health and Wellness visited her home where they inspected the place for mosquito breeding sites.

The representatives also issued tablets to help eradicate mosquito larvae.

“By going around in the district yuh just a find seh the pickney them have fever, fever, fever. So mi nuh know, but wi take it serious because when wi go the hospital the amount of cases there with babies! Mi did very worried because mi a seh this thing yah come fi kill wi off and it mostly take up the children them but all in all wi happy wi get over it.”

In January, the health ministry put Jamaicans on alert, after the dengue virus surpassed the epidemic threshold for December 2018.

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness in which a person may get a fever, headache, joint, and muscle pains. Rest and adequate hydration are usually enough to see one through the period of illness. The recommended treatment for the fever is acetaminophen/paracetamol. The ministry urges members of the public not to use aspirin, diclofenac, ibuprofen, or any of the medications/pain relievers known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs, when used to treat the fever in dengue, have been known to increase the severity of the disease.


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