Jamaica: Another child dies from dengue – Five-year-old loses life to mosquito-borne illness

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Jamaica: Another child dies from dengue – Five-year-old loses life to mosquito-borne illness
Five-year-old Mickel Miller.
Five-year-old Mickel Miller.

(JAMAICA STAR) – Sharon Miller felt as though she was running around in circles, after taking her five-year-old son, Mickel Miller, to and from the Spanish Town hospital.

After a series of tests and overnight observations, the doctors failed to detect that he had the dengue hemorrhagic fever – which led to his ill-timed demise.

Mickel fell ill at school on Tuesday, Novemebr 19, and Miller was called to pick him up. Noticing a slight fever, she gave him Panadol and a cold water bath.

“I took him to Spanish Town Hospital and we spent about four hours. They said they don’t see anything wrong with him, I should just give him the Panadol. I took him to a private doctor who said he looked dehydrated and lethargic. So, she said she’s going to send him back to the hospital for observation,” the St Catherine resident told THE STAR.

After taking Mickel to the hospital a second time the following Wednesday, she was once again told nothing was wrong, and was advised to continue giving him Panadol. A chest X-Ray was also done that showed nothing out of the ordinary.

As the fever persisted on Thursday, Miller took her son to the hospital once more, where he stayed until Friday night.

She was told he was dehydrated and he was given saline.

“They gave him about half a bag. The doctor mentioned doing a test, but no one mentioned dengue,” she said. “They still didn’t admit him. They did two different blood tests then said he had an ear infection. They prescribed antibiotics. When we left Friday, his fever was 101. At no point did they mention dengue. Saturday morning, he started having diarrhea and started vomiting. Saturday night, he didn’t sleep and wasn’t eating, so I stayed up with him the entire night.”

PLATELET COUNT WAS LOW
On Sunday, Miller decided to take Mickel to the Bustamante Hospital for Children, where she was told that his platelet count was low.

“They started asking me questions about where I live and the next day, the doctor said they’re going to test him for dengue.

They said the government test may take a few days, but if I can do it privately, I can get the results right away. So I did it privately and it took about an hour, then they confirmed that he had dengue,” she recalled.

The following day, she said Mickel ‘began to change’.

“He wasn’t talking and he was just blank. He wouldn’t respond to my voice, he wouldn’t respond to pain… nothing. By evening, he was taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and they hooked him up to a breathing machine. He had slipped into some form of a coma. He looked so lifeless and started bleeding internally. By Friday, we had lost him.”

Now, his parents are left to plan the funeral of their only son.

“There’s nothing anyone can say. It’s so sad. The funeral is next Saturday and it’s very difficult. His dad and I have to be doing most of the stuff ourselves. We have never lost anybody this close,” she said in a sad tone.

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