Editorial: Caution over Dengue

AS OF the first quarter of this year, the Davao City Health Office (CHO) recorded 1,681 cases, nearly three times as great as the 572 cases recorded in the same quarter in 2018.

This year, Toril District has the most number of cases with 240, followed by Buhangin District with 235, Talomo South District with 185, Talomo Central District with 175, and Agdao District with 122 cases.

Meanwhile, the Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) declared a state of calamity due to dengue fever outbreak on July 12, 2019. The Igacos CHO-Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit reported that there have been 249 dengue cases recorded cases from January to June this year.

In an online report by CNN Philippines published Monday, July 15, 2019, the Department of Health (DOH) has declared a "national dengue alert" after 106,630 cases have been recorded nationwide from January to June 29 this year.

However, Health Secretary Francisco Duque gave the assurance that dengue has not yet become an epidemic.

In a statement, DOH said dengue is transmitted through a bite of dengue-infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.

"These mosquitoes can lay eggs in any space or container that holds clear and stagnant water like a bottle cap, dish dryer, plant axil, gutter, trash can, old rubber tire, etc. They usually bite between two hours after sunrise and two hours before sunset and can be found inside and outside the house," DOH said.

DOH warned the public that "the period of the drop in bodily temperature between three to six days of infection marks the transition of the disease from mild to more serious categories."

Symptoms of dengue include sudden onset of fever of two to seven days, plus two of the following: headache, body weakness, joint and muscle pains, pain behind the eyes, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rashes.

DOH have urged the public to seek early consultation between one to three days of fever to immediately recognize the disease. When DOH declares a national alert for the disease, we the public should not take fever lightly.

The health department also urged the public to do the 4-S to fight dengue.

"The Enhanced 4-S campaign stands for Search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites, secure Self-protection measures like wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts and daily use of mosquito repellent, Seek early consultation, and Support fogging/spraying only in hotspot areas where increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak," DOH said in a statement.

With the onset of the rainy season, we should be more vigilant of the sicknesses that usually happen around this season. Though dengue is a year round disease, the rain will allow many breeding spots to flourish. Hence, the need for everyone to be cautious.


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