With the sudden wave of dengue cases sweeping the nation, parents should be cautious and check your house and surroundings areas for any stagnant water. Objects such as old waterlogged containers or clogged drains could become a dangerous breeding ground for Aedes mosquitoes. These mosquitoes are the most active early in the morning and near dusk, so do be careful about letting your little ones wander around outdoors at those times.\r\n\r\nLast year, Madam Ko\u2019s family was affected by dengue fever. She shares her story of her harrowing experience when herself, her husband, and her daughter were all diagnosed with dengue fever.\r\nQ: Can you tell us about the overall timeline of events?\r\nJuly 5: When waking up, I found myself having a fever and felt uncomfortable. There was no sign of recovering after taking medication.\r\n\r\nJuly 7: On the first time, the doctor was unable to determine my illness.\r\n\r\nJuly 9: On the second time, I took a Rapid Test Kit and was confirmed to have been bitten by mosquitoes. However, it was not yet confirmed whether it was associated with severe dengue or not. \r\n\r\nJuly 11: I decided to take a blood test for dengue fever. On the following day, the result stated that my platelet count had dropped to 50. \r\n\r\nJuly 12: I went to Columbia Asia Hospital in Cheras to see a doctor and to take a second dengue fever test. While submitting the blood test report, the doctor said there were no hospital beds unless I got admitted into the intensive care unit (ICU). I planned to go home while waiting for the result. The moment I reached the car park, I received a call from the hospital saying that my platelet count had dropped to 30. I was asked to be immediately admitted into hospital.\r\n\r\n\r\nQ: What were the symptoms that you first experienced? \r\nDuring the first time, I was running a fever and feeling uncomfortable. The symptoms of the fever is similar to that of flu. However, the feeling was different. I got a headache, felt tired, lost my appetite yet did not feel hungry. After that, my body felt cold and I felt like vomiting sometimes. \r\nQ: How did you know that the sickness you were experiencing were symptoms of dengue? And how did you feel when you were diagnosed?\r\nTo be honest, I cannot recognize whether the symptoms that I experienced before were dengue or not. I did not feel any bodily aches nor did any red rash appear on my skin like what others have been through. At last, I quickly took the Rapid Test Kit and was then diagnosed as dengue. \u00a0\r\n\r\nOn the fourth day, I was informed to have been bitten by mosquitoes and got myself prepared. After the release of the second test result, my platelet count had dropped to 50, so I got ready to pack up and be admitted into hospital.\r\n\r\nHowever, I worried about the medical fee because I had changed my medical insurance plan from a family package to an individual package. I also thought that it was still within the waiting period. After confirming with the insurance agent that dengue was not restricted from mediclaim, \u00a0I decided to receive treatment from a private hospital.\r\nQ: How severely did it affect you, your husband and your daughter?\r\nOn the third day (July 23), my husband went to Columbia Hospital to take the blood test. His platelet count was 141 so he got admitted into hospital at that time. Right after that, his platelet count then drastically dropped from 134, to 81, to 42, to 17, to 13, and at last to 6. He was quickly transferred to the ICU. My husband had to be hospitalised for five days consecutively.\r\n\r\nMy little daughter was hospitalised before the day my husband got admitted into hospital. She had been feeling unwell in the past two days. I brought her to the hospital to take the blood test. She was confirmed to have been bitten by mosquitoes, yet the platelet counts still fell within the normal range. So she needed to return to the hospital for a second blood check. \r\n\r\nShe got admitted into the hospital after knowing that her platelet count dropped to 140 during the second blood test. Her lowest platelet count is 27 and it rose up steadily on the following days. On July 30, she was allowed to be discharged from the hospital.\r\n\r\n\r\nQ: How was your feeling at the time when your daughter got the disease?\r\nI felt how \u201clucky\u201d I was to realize that my family actually got diagnosed as having dengue fever. Nevertheless, it was a fact that I had to deal with it. Aside from that, I was even more worried as my daughter had already gotten dengue fever before when she was four years old. As far as I was concerned, the more frequent you got dengue fever, the more serious the illness was.\r\nQ: How old are your daughters? How did the illness affect them and you?\r\nBoth of my daughters got dengue 12 years ago, when one was four years old and another was eight years old. I was so worried because it was their first time experiencing dengue at this small age. It made me so worried that I even asked around for different kinds of folk prescriptions.\r\n\r\nI took care of my children the whole day when they were still at that young age. I had to sleep on a deck chair between two hospital beds.\r\n\r\nAfter recovering from dengue, my daughter told me that she began to lose her hair. I was shocked to hear that and quickly consulted with the doctor. We felt reassured when the doctor told us that it was the sequelae of the dengue virus.\r\nQ: Did you use traditional methods or medicine to treat the dengue?\r\nThe first time my daughter got dengue, I used folk prescriptions such as stewing sliced frog with small bitter gourds, drinking watermelon leaves or 100PLUS, and so on.\r\n\r\nThis time, we bought papaya leaf juice sold in stores. However, the doctor warned us not to drink too much of the papaya leaf juice as it would damage the liver. So we only drank on average half or one bottle of the juice or coconut water.\r\n\r\n\r\nQ: Did it affect your family\u2019s financial situation?\r\nLuckily, we already bought medical insurance cards. All the medical fees were covered by the insurance company. Otherwise, we would have to pay RM13,529 which would be a burden to my family.\r\nQ: As a mother, what was the biggest challenge of the whole ordeal?\r\nWhen I was just recovering from the illness, the doctor advised me to rest at home. However, I did not follow the doctor\u2019s advice because I had to fetch my children to school and visit my husband at the hospital. Furthermore, I accompanied my daughter to the ward when she was hospitalised at the age of 15 years old. I did not need to sleep at the hospital as my daughter was able to take care of herself. Three days later, my daughter was then discharged from the hospital. Otherwise, I might have fallen sick again due to the heavy work routine. One good thing that happened to me is that I lost my weight during the recovery period.\r\nQ: Do you have any advice or tips to mothers out there on dealing with dengue?\r\n\r\n \tTake care of yourself so you can take care of your family.\r\n \tIf you can, contact the relevant authorities to conduct fogging in your neighbourhood, keep your house clean and remove any stagnant water.\r\n \tIf your neighbour gets diagnosed with dengue, please buy a strong mosquito spray against any mosquitoes bites.\r\n \tPrevention is better than cure. You are encouraged to put more than one strong mosquito killer at home.\r\n\r\nBased on my situation, the after effects of dengue were hair loss and fatigue after half a year. I have been suffering from flu including fever, sore throat, cough and cold. I was tired and sleepy all the time. The nurse also told me that my body will get weaker half a year later. I did not take note of it and it finally became a reality. Therefore, I advise all the mothers out there, take good care of yourself after recovery, and strengthen your own immune system to prevent a virus invasion.\r\n\r\nFor more stories about parenting and family, please visit Motherhood.com.my.