Getting dengue fever in Vietnam

For those who were wondering, yes it is possible to get dengue fever in Vietnam (in HCMC) because of course I caught it last week somehow by a mosquito. I know it looks scary and that’s why I decided to tell you about my adventure so you won’t read all the weird things of the internet.

Today is day + 7, which means it’s the end (Dengue lasts for approximately 7 days- 10 days). I feel better since yesterday but still weak, and still weird. Of course I can also notice the results of the 7 days of sickness. (principally lost weight)

At first, I didn’t know it was Dengue (and nobody can without doing blood test). There are so many virus in Vietnam that the signs can mean anything. I thought it was my body telling me to ‘stooop‘ : too much stress, too much work, too much troubles and some cramps in my legs were for me the sign of ‘I need to go in holidays and stop doing this, that and that…’.

The next day, I had the same cramp in my back, very painful, very strong and a bit of a headache. In only 2 hours, red marks showed up all over my back and on my chest. #weird. At that time, I started not being very hungry but forced myself to eat something. In the night, the worse headache ever with high fever and pain everywhere. Useless to say that I didn’t sleep and that I was worried I didn’t know what was going on.

During my visit at the Doctor the next day, it was too soon to say what kind of virus it was but it was a virus: only advice – take some paracetamol every 4-5 hours when you feel the pain. Then started the long series of days and sleeps. I wasn’t hungry at all, I had maybe 2 meals in 6 days. As a result I was very weak and I couldn’t move very far from my bed (if not at all)… Anyway I was spending my days to sleep (most of the day yes…it’s crazy how much I was tired). Pain was a bit stronger everyday, depending on the day. Something new was appearing all the time: diarrhea, red marks, cough, …

I did some blood tests as suggested by the Doctor in order to know if it was Dengue. After the first one, not only it was Dengue, but not a small one, as all my level results were very low, so a close control was needed in order to check the evolution of the virus. I did another blood test 2 days after and the results were even lower. #notgood I was still feeling bad and weak but with time the results were suppose to increase. One bad thing that add some stress to it was itching: I suddenly had to itch my hands/foot without stopping…It even stopped me from sleeping as I could not, not move more than a minute, it was horrible! Next day, of course my hands were very painful, red and sensitive. #Nothappy

Doctor advice me to do another blood test to control until the results get better. (Actually the platelets results were very low and under a certain level it can be dangerous for the health). I was worried not only because I started to feel better, but also because I am supposed to head off to Thailand with my BF in few days !! So Wednesday was a better day, the first one I didn’t take paracetamol and I didn’t have headache #youhou. It’s not until the third blood tests that my results finally went up a little bit, to prove that it will go back to normal finally…

Today is Friday, I feel much better, still weird probably due to my blood test results that are still low. But it’s not over, Dengue fever doesn’t go like that. I have to keep not doing sport, drinking alcohol and stuff linked with the liver system. I also need to keep on drinking loads of water and take some food complement and vitamin E to avoid relapse…

Serious stuff now: How much does Dengue Fever cost?

I went to the CMI in District 1 to see the Doctor (French=big help) and of course it was not free. Luckily I have an insurance abroad so my doctors consultations are reimbursed and thanks for that, otherwise it would be a massive cost for a virus that doesn’t even need special pills…

So my first consultation with the Dc cost me 1,400 000VND ($70) including some medicine against cramps and tiredness. My blood test cost me 1.200 000 VND ($60), which is crazy for a bit of blood but well… Then the other blood tests I did were less and less expensive like 500 000VND and 300 000VND. But still doctor is a kind of investment in Vietnam. I am pretty sure I could have found somewhere cheaper but probably not with French persons, so I didn’t want to bother too much (moreover I was feeling very bad…)

Best advice when you get Dengue Fever:

Drink loads of water, juices, smoothies, things that keep you hydrated and with sugar if you cannot eat. Sleep as much as you can and want. You will need it ! Finally rest, and have some people to check up on you, it’s important 🙂



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