Cebu News

DOH-7 sustains anti-dengue drive despite plateau in epidemic curve

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Health in Central Visayas has consistently implements proactive measures, including public education campaigns, dengue vector control, surveillance, community engagement, healthcare services, and research and innovation, to effectively combat dengue despite a plateau in the epidemic curve of dengue cases in the country.

The health department has warned the public not to be complacent especially that the rainy season is here.

“The end of El Niño, along with the onset of the rainy season brings with it more water that can serve as mosquito breeding grounds. Kill mosquitoes to keep dengue down,” says DOH in a statement.

The health department said that while there has been a slight increase (3%) in cases from 5,212 last April 14 to April 27 to 5,359 last April 28 to May 11, a lower number was recorded at 3,992 from May 12 to May 25.

“The DOH is cautious with this interpretation as case counts may change with late reports coming in, and we are already in the rainy season. From the start of the year up to May 25, 67,874 dengue cases have already been recorded, with 189 deaths,” it said.

Dengue is caused by a virus that mosquitoes spread to people. It is common in tropical climates like in the Philippines.

Most who get dengue will not experience symptoms, but the most common are high fever (40 C), severe headache, muscle and joint pains, nausea, and rashes. There may also be pain behind the eyes, vomiting, and swollen glands. Symptoms start 4-10 days after exposure from a mosquito bite, and can last for 2-7 days. Most will get better in 1–2 weeks.

DOH added that some people get severe dengue which can be fatal, and will have to be treated in a hospital. Symptoms of severe dengue often come after the high fever has gone. These symptoms include severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums and nose, fatigue, restlessness, blood in vomit or stool, intense thirst, pale and cold skin, and feeling weak.

Dengue is treated for its symptoms, often with pain medicine, as there is no specific treatment at present. The best way to prevent dengue is to avoid mosquito bites, especially during the day, it said.

“The solution is simple to say but needs community effort to do: kill mosquitoes so that the dengue they bring will not kill you. The rains may have started but we can still search and destroy mosquito breeding sites - wherever water can accumulate and stay still," said Health Secretary Teodoro J. Herbosa.

The DOH also advises the use of self-protection measures like long sleeves and pants that cover the skin, or mosquito repellent lotions and sprays. Seek early consultation for any symptoms like fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, nausea, and rashes as well as saying yes to fogging where needed.

“Dengue is seasonal. We may have low case counts now, but if we relax, they will go up more than we want. Keep killing mosquitoes and stop them from biting you and your loved ones. Let's keep dengue down,” Herbosa further said

In a demonstration of unwavering dedication to combatting dengue and safeguarding the health of every Filipino, the DOH-7 Center for Health Development, in partnership with the City Government of Bogo, and other partners in health, recently concluded the commemoration of the Dengue Awareness Month and the ASEAN Dengue Day held at Don Celestino Martinez Sr. Sports Complex in Taytayan, Bogo City, Cebu.

Aligned with DOH's action agenda 5, Pag-iwas sa sakit (Disease prevention and health promotion), the event catalyzed collective action, raising awareness about the perils of dengue, mobilizing communities to prevent and control outbreaks, and urging governments and organizations to combat the disease.

“These initiatives are pivotal in saving lives by curbing the spread of dengue and lessening its impact on public health and communities,” DOH-7 said. — (FREEMAN)

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