Abstract: In Malaysia, dengue infection is becoming an increasingly important public health problem. Seremban is one of the highly affected districts by dengue in the country. This study, aims to examine illness characteristics and treatment seeking behavior of dengue patients in Seremban, Malaysia. The study also quantifies households days lost due to dengue and utilization of medical services by the patients in the district. Structured interviews were conducted at household level in order to obtain primary data for the study. A total of 120 patients with confirmed dengue illness were enrolled in the study. It was found that majority (90.80%) of the surveyed patients had a Dengue Fever (DF) while 7.50 and 1.70% of the patients suffered from Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) and Dengue Shock Syndrome (DSS), respectively. The study revealed that government hospitals/clinics were the facilities most commonly used by the patients (44.2%) for seeking treatment at the initial stage of the disease. However, after the onset of symptoms, a greater portion (42.5%) of the respondents took self-treatment at home without consulting a doctor. The average duration of illness per dengue case was 9.69 days. Consequently, an episode of dengue resulted in a total of 18.73 days lost to the entire household of which school-going patients lost 6.25 days of school and those working (patients and caregivers) lost 12.48 days of work. The findings of the study provide a detailed knowledge or insight about illness characteristics, treatment seeking behavior and households days lost due to dengue which might assist policy-makers in implementing more effective control strategies for the disease at district as well as national level.
Md. Shahin Mia, A.C. Er and Joy Jacqueline Pereira, 2017. Illness Characteristics and Treatment Seeking Behavior of Dengue Patients: A Study in Seremban District, Malaysia. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, 12: 90-96.