In a tropical country like Malaysia, dengue is a common infection. It is so ubiquitous that when we heard someone is infected with dengue, we would not feel any twinge of fear about fatality or morbidity of the inflicted victims (sure, the patients would experience the notorious symptoms of joints-ache or losing appetite to eat, etc but the worst never perched onto our naive minds). Up until my Master of Corporate Communication colleague, the late Noraiyati Omar a.k.a. Kak Ti died due to the wrath of dengue virus (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2014/12/18/r-i-p-inalillah-an-ode-of-demise-for-the-late-noraiyati-omar-my-upm-masters-degree-in-corporate-communications-sister/), it occurred to me that the virus has gone through severe phases of evolution. So, it was understandable why I got freaked-out when I reached Malaysia from United Kingdom, Ayah told me that Mak was warded at Hospital Kuala Kubu Bharu due to dengue – I was still freshly tormented with the sudden of Kak Ti!
In 2007; just when I was supposed to report myself to AFFIN BANK as one of the 18 selected management trainees, I was infected with dengue (REFER to https://undomiel84.wordpress.com/2007/07/31/the-deathly-dengue-jinxing-the-jinxed/; ooops; just ignore the interwoven usage of metaphorical Malay Language & English! Gosh, I felt so embarrassed reading my own writing years ago! Haha!); so I understood and understand the agony of dealing with dengue fever.
Nevertheless, the rate of dengue fever is reportedly to increase 116% in comparison to the cases reported in 2014 – merely within 52 days in this 2015; where 54 death cases are reported. The symptoms also are no more the mere red blemishes or dots on the skins- BUT – an instantaneous fever could occur and that is potential to ‘electrocute’ the body (shocked fever). This would result to extreme effects such as Pneumonia and heart inflammation (myocarditis). If I am not mistaken, the late Kak Ti experienced these two effects, engendered by the dengue shock fever. Inalillah.
When I was a Microbiology student back in USM, I had to take a class called ‘Virology’. Naturally, it was all about viruses. It was interesting class to learn about the physiological and chemical components of all types of viruses. And one of the viruses discussed was of course, the Dengue Virus, a member of Flavivirus genus. It was interesting to note that during my Microbiology days circa 2004-2006, there were 4 strains or types of Dengue Viruses identified; nevertheless, in this late 10 years, Dengue virus has definitely evolved and more immune towards the antidotes prescribed to ‘assuage the reaction’ (so far, no efficient vaccines available to 100% counter-back dengue virus) – and this meant that a new type or strain of “sturdier, stronger,” of Dengue Virus has emerged! This is echoed in an article entitled “Tropical Medicine. Surprising new dengue virus throws a spanner in disease control efforts” by Normille D. !!!
“Tropical Medicine. Surprising New Dengue Virus Throws A Spanner in Disease Control Efforts” by Normille D.
When I first heard about the death of late Kak Ti, I already predicted that the Dengue Virus has indeed gone through process of evolution. True as what Mother Gaia arranges – “Survival Of The Fittest” – the Dengue Virus has learned to adapt with the chemical substances induced in the hosts that they have been infected; fix-and-improve their weaken structures and then adopt the needs to combat the antidotes prescribed by replicating their ‘newly-polished structure’ entities from the hosts. One part, it is amazing to see how the smallest microorganisms proved to be the most lethal; another part, it is hauntingly scary to know that a new strain/type of Dengue Virus has emerged – much to the dismay that the health expertise are yet to be able to discover any antidotes that could terminate all these 5 strains of dengue virus.
It is scary because all of us are exposed to this probability with no exception. It is like living with an active bomb but nowhere to be found. to Hopefully, Malaysia will go through this test with strong heart. To ponder, this is the statement released by our Minister of Health, Datuk Seri Dr. S. Subramaniam, via The Sun Daily at http://www.thesundaily.my/news/1310182 :-
“One of the reasons for the rise in the number of cases and deaths is the dengue serotype shift that happened in August last year, where there was a shift in the dominant serotype from DEN 2 to DEN 1,” said Subramaniam.
“Besides the serotype shift, other factors contributing to the increase in the number of dengue cases were environmental factors, uncontrolled human movements (especially those carrying the virus), the weather and the unhealthy human behaviour.
“The increase in the number of cases and deaths by dengue must be taken seriously.”