Cebu News

DOH warns of health risks during dry season

May B. Miasco - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - With the dry months just around the corner, the Department of Health warned people anew of the possible illnesses and/or diseases that the hot weather may bring.

DOH-7 medical specialist Dr. Joanri Riveral said the most common are sunburn, stomach ailments, mosquito-borne diseases, flu, sore eyes, and rabies.

“Atong pagabantayan nga dili kita magkasakit. We should observe proper hygiene ug ato kining padayonon hangtod ngadto sa Mayo,” Riveral said.

To avoid sunburn or worse, skin cancer, Riveral advised that those going to the beach use sun block and take into consideration that its effects usually last for just two hours, depending on the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) rating.

Riveral warned that too much sun exposure can lead to dehydration and heat stroke, thus, it is important to drink water frequently or, at least, 12 glasses of drinking water a day.

Those involved in outdoor activities are advised to wear protective cap, use an umbrella, and/or wear light and comfortable clothes. This is most important especially to the elderly who are more prone to heat stroke.

“Ideally, ang adlaw nga i-utilize nga medyo normal ra sa atong panit ug okay ra sa atong lawas is only up to 9 a.m. while sa hapon ang safe mga 4 p.m. na hangtod sa gabii,” he said.

Also prevalent during hot weather are food and water-borne diseases that can cause diarrhea or loose bowel movement.

“Usually, the bacteria in the food multiply rapidly during humid temperature especially beyond two hours after it is being prepared,” Riveral explained.

He told the public to always observe proper handling and preparation of food and to be watchful of one’s personal hygiene like proper hand washing.

Too much sun exposure can also lead to sore eyes, which is also caused by airborne irritants.

Riveral said it is best to observe personal hygiene to prevent this eye infection from getting transmitted to others.

Aside from the physical aspect, Riveral said people should also check their surroundings especially when various illnesses are acquired not only because of the erratic weather but also due to mosquito-borne diseases.

“It is important that we also observe environmental sanitation. We should always clean our surroundings,” he said, adding, that due to the El Niño phenomenon, people have gotten used to storing water, where mosquitoes can breed.

Another diseases caused by respiratory infection are cough and colds, which, when passed to another person, can turn into flu.

Riveral also encouraged vaccination, especially that this is free at health centers.

Animals, too, are affected by hot weather. For one, hot weather conditions can trigger aggressiveness in dogs. He said this can be addressed through responsible pet ownership. — (FREEMAN)

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