THE Department of Health (DOH) has recently declared a national health emergency as the number of dengue virus infection cases in the country rose to a high of almost 5,000 in just a week. Not to mention the previous cases of 491, mostly children, who died during the first 7 months of the year.
According to the DOH, it's quite alarming considering the figures, which increased to 155 deaths higher than that of last year. The said agency also reported that from January to July of this year, there were already 115,986 or twice the number of cases for the same period last year, which prompted the DOH to declare an epidemic in some regions in the country.
The DOH has also declared a national dengue alert, aimed at prompting the public to be more aware on how to avoid dengue infection. This is also a warning for us that we should take measures in combatting the virus in our own homes and workplaces.
In other provinces, hospitals are overflowing with patients stricken with the dengue virus. We are still lucky in Pampanga that while there are those infected with the virus, only a handful were confined. Our hospitals anyway are ready for any epidemic, I believe.
It is noteworthy that dengue infections come yearly. In other words, we can always prepare for the virus come rainy season when dengue-carrying mosquitoes are aplenty. Sadly however, why can't we avoid a year when we can report a zero case on dengue in our country?
The solutions against the dengue problem are known to us. First on the list is the cleanliness of surroundings. Then, we can remove things like cans and bottles where mosquitoes can thrive. Then, we can always use mosquito-repelling materials including organic ones such as citronella grass.
The use of mosquito nets is always a reliable deterrent versus mosquitoes, dengue-carrier or otherwise. During this time of the year, we can avoid forested areas or where there are swarms of mosquitoes.
Meanwhile, newly-elected local officials can show their sincerity to serve the public through massive cleanliness drives and the cleaning and declogging of esteros and canals. Since we are on the rainy season now, we can avoid floods and the breeding of mosquitoes through such.
Before dengue strikes, we can do something to avoid being infected with dengue. Yes, we can avoid it.
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