I received a call on Monday, inviting me down to the Communicable Disease Centre (CDC) 1 to do a mouthwash.

My first thought was, "WHAT?"

Further elaboration by the researcher made me understand better that this is part of the research that they are conducting to tackle the dengue issue in Singapore. They are researching on past dengue victims, that is why I was contacted.

Yes. I was once a victim of this virus and I survived.

It is not something that I wish to recall, but I think people need to heed my advice on going to the doctor immediately for any fever or if they are feeling unwell after getting bitten by mosquitoes in a dengue hotspot.

I nearly died back then. I can still vividly remember the doctor telling my mother that the third night (in the hospital) may be my last as my platelets had dropped to a ridiculously low level. Any lower and it would have killed me.

It was the most difficult thing to hear, but my body was so weak that my only response then was to head back to sleep uncontrollably.

Dengue has no cure if you guys have not realised. My only medicine at that time was paracetamol, tons of water and I.V. drip.

The virus forced me to be so bedridden that sitting up to have my favourite food was difficult. I lost about 10kg within a span of four days, if I recall correctly.

It was horrible. I was already as thin as a monkey and after that I looked like a holocaust victim but with a tan.

Remembering this horrifying experience, I agreed to be one of the participants. Upon reaching the CDC 1, I was greeted by this very friendly auntie. She gave me some indemnity forms to sign and within seconds, I'm off to do a 30-second mouthwash. All I needed to do next was to spit the outcome into a test tube and seal it tight. That's all.

All done within five minutes.

After everything, she gave me $50 for agreeing to be a participant. Woohoo!

It took me five minutes to earn 50 bucks. Shiok bo... haha..

Although the test had been short and it might sound rather unconvincing that my saliva is so important, it made me feel glad that I am part of the nation's effort to find a cure for dengue.

Friends, if you are asked to participate in a research, try to do it. You are no guinea pig. But you may very well be one of the thousands who made the difference in saving lives.

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