Health office: No Japanese Encephalitis in Davao City

CONTRARY to several posts on social media, the Davao City Health Office (CHO) says there are no cases of Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in the city this year.

CHO head Doctor Josephine Villafuerte, in an interview, said the JE case that was reported on the internet was last year when a 52-year-old man from Bacaca, Davao City was confirmed positive of the disease. He was discharged after several days of hospitalization.

"As of January this year to today (September 5), Davao City is JE-free according to the Department of Health (DOH) Region 11 (Davao Region)," Villafuerte said.

She, however, said the threat of the disease still has to be anticipated as the carriers of the JE virus are mosquitoes that are present anywhere.

Thus, she urged citizens to strictly follow the Four O'Clock Habit campaign of the DOH wherein communities have to take time out to search and destroy possible mosquito-breeding places at 4 p.m. every day.

A person bitten by a JE virus-carrying-mosquito, Villafuerte said, will experience the symptoms eight days after being bitten and the infected person may travel to another place before the disease worsens.

"We should not be complacent about it. Once a JE-free mosquito bites a JE-infected person, that mosquito might carry the virus," she said.

DOH said JE is a disease caused by an arbovirus that is spread by mosquitoes which is related to Dengue, Yellow fever, and Zika.

Signs and symptoms of JE are high fever, nausea, vomiting, agitation, and chills.

Villafuerte advised the public to immediately see a doctor if a person suffers fever for more than four days with constant vomiting.

No specific treatments have been found to benefit patients with JE, but hospitalization for supportive care and close observation is generally required.

DOH Central Office said Monday, September 4, that nine people from various provinces and cities and Luzon have died due to the disease.

Meanwhile, nine people, including seven in Central Luzon, have already died this year due to the mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis (JE), the DOH said Tuesday, September 5.

Four deaths were recorded in Pampanga, two in Zambales, and one in Nueva Ecija.

The other two deaths were recorded in Pangasinan and Laguna. Of the 133 JE cases recorded this year, 53 are in Central Luzon.

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said there is nothing unusual with the number of JE cases.

"There is no surge. The cases reported this year is lower than last year," said Ubial in an interview.

Ubial, however, stressed the lower number of cases this year will not stop them from including the JE vaccine in the government's national immunization program by next year. (With SunStar Philippines)
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