EDITORIAL - National dengue alert
(The Philippine Star) - July 17, 2019 - 12:00am

The provinces of Guimaras and Capiz have declared outbreaks of dengue. Since the start of the year, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has recorded 89 deaths out of 15,803 reported cases of dengue across the country, with the highest number recorded so far in the Visayas.

Unless a new vaccine comes along, people will likely continue to shun immunization programs targeting dengue. The potentially deadly fever has four strains, and health experts have warned that a person can get dengue again even after contracting the viral affliction and developing immunity to one strain.

Amid the Dengvaxia scare, the traditional ways of confronting dengue can help prevent the spread of the disease. Early detection is critical, but the cost of blood testing keeps many people from seeking professional help when they develop a fever. The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. has expressed readiness to assist dengue patients. A wider dissemination of information on dengue symptoms can encourage early diagnosis and treatment.

Keeping out mosquitoes is of utmost importance, especially in schools during the rainy season. Insect repellent is expensive; there must be local herbal concoctions that the poor can use to keep mosquitoes away. With the health risks posed by mosquitoes, all schools should have screens and the premises kept free of spots where stagnant water can accumulate. Potted plants should be properly drained and kept outside classrooms.

At home, mosquito nets – preferably those made of materials treated with insect repellent – can help ward off dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases. Dengue need not be a killer disease; the nationwide alert should help see to this.

DENGUE NATIONAL DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND MANAGEMENT COUNCIL VACCINE
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