Dengue Fever Pattaya

Penang was a different city in the early 90s. Seedy bars stayed open late and delightfully wicked brothels served the shifting population of sailors seeking companionship for a few minutes. Hotels on Chulia Street were cheap. A good thing in 1994, since I was stranded without of a homeward bound ticket.

Wiring money took time. My camera and a large aquamarine gem ended up at the pawn shop. 300 rupiahs had to last two weeks. I read books at the British Council and walked about the city for amusement. A Dutch girl joined my sojourn and we ended up in the cemetery.

The gravestones were covered with moss and green mold, yet the carved inscriptions told of countless deaths from tropical diseases. Mostly the very young. Westerners can survive the hot climates much better than in the prior centuries, however even Pattaya is home to very serious afflictions.

Say Dengue Fever.

Sam Royalle called yesterday, “My sister is in the hospital with dengue fever.”

“Dengue fever?” I thought the fever only hit upcountry.

“She had a fever and itching.” Sam was concerned since his sister’s health is fragile.

Fever is the first sign of Dengue. A severe headache, muscle and joint pains. The red rash splotches the legs and chest. Sometimes it can spread to the entire body. Nausea and stomach aches can accompany these other symptoms. Without proper diagnosis victims will think the fever is something minor and carry the disease throughout its febrile state, which lasts from 5-7 days.

“The hospital wanted her to stay for a couple of days, but she went home to take care of herself.” Sam was glad his sister wasn’t ailing serious enough to need a recuperative stay, for Bangkok-Pattaya Hospital is notorious for gouging farangs fearful of exotic diseases.

Someone has to pay for the new wing.

Treatment generally calls for an increased level of liquid intake.

More beer?

I think maybe.

IV intake might be required if the patient is too nauseous.

Beer Drip?

Sure, why not?

Aspirin and steroid drugs used to combat pain or fever should be avoided as they might exascebate blood strength. A dangerous sign is blood in your ca-ca indicating internal hemorrhaging and that the disease should be treated in a hospital not at home.

While not always fatal, Thailand has 58 reported death of 31,000 cases, however medical authorities are hushing up any mention of Dengue Fever to protect the country’s tourist trade.

The Swahili called the disease “Ka-dinga pepo” and thought the illness came from evil spirits thus causing the victims to walk carefully or ‘dinga’. More realistically Dengue is carried by mosquitoes. Evil creatures outnumbering Man by the trillions. All that DDT and Raid has done nothing against the virus-carriers. My wife loves to spray the hosue, but I have never seen a dead mosquito on the floor.

Hearing this news about Sam’s Sister, I taped over any holes or gaps in my screens. I burn citronella candles at night and spray my feet Citronella oil extract. Mosquitoes don’t bite me, because my blood isn’t sweet anymore, but better to play safe and sorry.

I want to drink beer into my 90s.

And heroin into my 100s with a little white wine.

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