THE Department of Health in Central Luzon (DOH-3) on Wednesday, August 7, reminded the public to follow the 4S strategy against the mosquito-borne disease, following the declaration of a national dengue epidemic.
On Tuesday evening, DOH declared a national dengue epidemic following the spike in reported cases of dengue that so far has claimed the lives of at least 622 people since the start of this year.
DOH-3 Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit Head Jessie Fantone said the practice of 4S strategy in every household remains the most effective way to prevent the spread of the disease.
4-S stands for “Search and destroy” mosquito-breeding sites, practice “Self-protection measures” such as wearing of 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.
“Preventive measures are still the best option instead of curing, wherein the life of an individual is already at risk. And when it comes to prevention, the practice of 4S is the most holistic approach,” he said.
Fantone also disclosed that the DOH has engaged other national government agencies on activities that will help prevent the spread of dengue disease in the community.
In particular, Fantone said the Department of Interior and Local Government is urged to task the local government units to monitor the situation in the barangays and help implement measures to fight dengue.
Moreover, the Department of Education is also asked to ensure the cleanliness of school surroundings to avoid creating breeding sites for mosquitoes, especially that school children are usual victims of dengue.
The practice of “4-o’clock Habit”, which means cleaning before evening to reduce the risk of dengue, as mosquitoes carrying the disease are most active at dusk, is also encouraged in school communities to further protect school children from dengue.
“Ever since, DOH has been the lone agency involved in preventing dengue disease but right now, we need all the support we can get to ensure that situation will not come to worst,” he said.