Davao River tested positive for poliovirus, swim ban ordered

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 23, 2019   •   446

The Davao City Health Office has prohibited the public from swimming in Davao River after it tested positive of poliovirus.

Davao City Health Office Chief Josephine Villafuerte said they took a water sample from the river.

They sent it to the Department of Health (DOH) and the Environmental Management of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for testing.

“As of August 22, iyong specimen na nakuha nila sa may Bolton, positive siya for strain 2 (As of August 22, the specimen they extracted from the Bolton area is positive of strain 2),” Villafuerte said.

Villafuerte also advised the public not to swim in pools near Davao River.

“We can never tell if the virus came from inland papunta sa tabi or sa sewerage (towards the shore or in the sewerage) or maybe could have come from upstream going down kung pwede huwag lang muna (if possible, don’t [swim] for now),” she said.

The Davao City Health is also monitoring the residents near the river to ensure that they have not contracted the virus.

So far, there are no reports of a polio outbreak in Davao City.

The city will also have a week-long polio vaccine campaign starting October 14.—AAC (with reports from Janice Ingente)

16 public hospitals on code white alert for the Traslacion

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 7, 2020

Starting Thursday (January 9), 16 public hospitals in Metro Manila will be on code white alert in preparation for the Traslacion.

There will also be 14 health response teams to be deployed in strategic areas during the Traslacion to provide emergency medical services.

In a statement, the Department of Health (DOH) said “medical specialists are placed on stand-by for the immediate treatment of incoming patients, while emergency service personnel, nursing, and administrative personnel are placed on on-call status for immediate mobilization.”

The DOH also advised the public to wear comfortable clothes, protective foorwear, and hats to prevent heat exhaustion. The health department also advised to bring umbrella or ponchos in case of rain.

The public is also advised not to wear jewelries or bring expensive gadgets.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

The cold winds are rising: How to stay healthy amid cold weather illnesses

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 29, 2019

The cold winds are rising, and cold weather illnesses are coming.

No season is a good season to get sick so it is better to prepare your body to prevent any illnesses especially those that are most common during the cold season.

Department of Health (DOH) Spokesman Eric Domingo said flu season is already starting in other countries and is slowly reaching the country. Domingo also advised the public to be more vigilant especially when flu season begins.

“Ang flu season medyo nag-umpisa na sa ibang bansa at dito sa atin medyo parating na rin iyan (Flu season is already in other countries and is slowly making its way into the country) and we really advise everybody to be more extra vigilant kapag ganito na malapit na ang flu season (especially when flu season is almost here),” he said.

But if you are already feeling the flu, here are some remedies you can try.

  • Stay hydrated: Drink warm lemon water, fresh fruit/vegetable juice.
  • Sip hot soup/broth
  • Gargle warm water with salt for your sore throat
  • Drink tea that has anti-viral or anti-bacterial properties (Green or black tea, turmeric fresh or dried ginger, ginger paste, fresh garlic cloves
  • Use humidifier inside your home to prevent the further spread of virus
  • Wear face mask or always cover your mouth while coughing
  • Wash your hands regularly

The DOH also reminds the public not to take medicine without proper doctor’s prescription. The health department also encourages people to get vaccinated.

“Mahirap din po na magkaroon ng komplikayon ang flu, katulad ng pneumonia na maaaring ikamatay ng mga matatanda, (It is difficult to have complications due to the flu or pneumonia which dangerous to the elderly)” Domingo said.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Children without anti-measles vaccines more susceptible to other diseases

Maris Federez   •   November 12, 2019

DOH Region 4A conducts anti-measles immunization program as number of infection cases, deaths continue to increase in the region.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health is looking into the recently released Harvard Medical School study on the possibility that children who are not inoculated with anti-measles vaccines may be susceptible to acquiring other kinds of diseases.

This is what the DOH calls “immune amnesia”, which impairs the immune memory of an individual who has not received the anti-measles vaccine.

The measles vaccine is capable of preventing the body from “forgetting” the immune memory that protects it against infections and diseases.

“If you do not get vaccinated and you get infected with measles chances are your protective antibodies which are already in your system will be reduced significantly or substantially,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

This is why the DOH continually reminds parents to have their children vaccinated, especially those within 6 to 59 months.

“For example, you had antibodies against polio pero wala kang antibodies against measles, nagkaroon ka ng measles infection, iyong measles infection mo will influence the downward reduction, the reduction of your protective antibodies to other infection like polio, diphtheria, pertussis. So talagang it makes more sense to really have your children vaccinated kasi mayroon ganoong problema,” Duque added.

To date, the DOH has recorded 98% anti-measles immunization coverage for children within 6 to 59 months. (from the report of Aiko Miguel)

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