“It was an experience so traumatic that I would not wish it for my worst enemy,” said Angel Locsin of her having contracted dengue fever twice.
She first contracted the virus while filming the 2006 romantic film I Will Always Love You with Richard Gutierrez in San Francisco, California.
“It wasn’t detected immediately. The doctors thought I had bronchitis or sinusitis. I kept returning to the hospital but didn’t want to be confined because I had to finish the film,” she recalled. “When I returned to Manila, I went straight to the taping of Darna because we needed additional scenes for immediate airing.”
She only found out months later that she got infected with the killer dengue virus.
“The second time I got it was really horrible,” she said, adding that it was while doing Love Me Again with Piolo Pascual in 2008. “In the beginning, I thought it was just stomach flu. I kept vomiting so I did self-medication. I then stopped eating, but the vomiting kept on so I stopped drinking fluids, too. The retching feeling turned nastier. I also had convulsions,” she recalled.
“Don’t commit the same mistake I did. Don’t self-medicate. If you suspect that you have the dengue virus, have yourself checked immediately. It’s better to be safe than sorry,” said the award-winning actress.
Actor Edgar Allan Guzman contracted the dengue fever in 2011. He was taping for the TV5 soap series Enchanted Garden in Bataan when he was brought to a hospital in Olongapo because he had felt weak and feverish. “I had to finish several fight scenes that day, but I just couldn’t do it. I asked to be brought to the E.R. (emergency room), where it was confirmed that I got dengue infection. After doctors there put IV drip on me, I requested to be transferred to St. Luke’s (in Quezon City).”
Eat Bulaga TV host Ryan Agoncillo said he contracted the virus twice, “once when I was a kid and the second time (in 2013), I already had kids.” Newspaper reports said Ryan was confined at the Asian Hospital in Muntinlupa, and that he had asked his friends and followers to donate blood. Ryan’s platelet count dropped so low that it also led to his contracting pneumonia, reports added.
“Have yourself checked as soon as you’re able to. Avoid putting yourself in situations that can expose you to potential breeding grounds,” advised Ryan. “As much as possible, clean your surroundings. When in doubt, mosquito repellent is your friend. Apply generously.”
A study conducted by the Dengue Antigenic Cartography Consortium said that the first dengue infection was often mild while many second infections were life threatening. This was because an individual infected with one type may not be protected against anti-genically different viruses of the same type.
These celebrities are happy now that there is a dengue vaccine available in the market. According to denguevaccines.org, only one vaccine for dengue is currently approved in the Philippines, Brazil and Mexico. With four different serotypes of the dengue virus that can cause the disease, the vaccine must immunize against all four types to be effective, the report added.
“That’s definitely great news,” said Ryan of the vaccine. “But I always believed that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure---so clean up, clean up!”
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