Dengue cases spike to over 100K – DOH

Maris Federez   •   August 1, 2019   •   1493

The Department of Health has released its latest record of dengue cases which have already ballooned to more than 130,000.

This is double the recorded cases in the same month of 2018.

More than 500 fatalities had also been reported this year.

“Dumadami pa rin ang cases natin and nag-activate naman na tayo ng Regional Health Clusters ng NDRRMC [The number of cases continues to grow. We are once again activating the Regional Health Clusters of the NDRRMC],” DOH spokesman, Usec Eric Domingo said.

National Dengue Alert remains hoisted due to the increase of the number of areas that are already in the Dengue Epidemic Level.

This includes the Western Visayas, Calabarzon, Socsksargen, Northern Mindanao, Central Visayas, and the National Capital Region.

Dengue has also been considered as a global health issue in 2019 because of the cycle of the dengue virus infection that balloons in number every three years.

“2019 worldwide is really shaping up to be with one those high burden years for dengue,” Domingo added.

 With this, the DOH will meet with the officials of the 17 regions in the country on Friday (Aug. 2) to be ensured that the dengue problem in their areas is controlled and addressed.

The health department also reminds the public to maintain cleanliness in their surroundings to ensure that there are no breeding grounds for dengue mosquitoes. (with details from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

Ash-covered fruits, veggies still safe to eat after thorough washing, DOH says

Robie de Guzman   •   January 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) assured the public that fruits and vegetables covered with layers of ash from the Taal Volcano are still safe to eat after some thorough washing.

“’Yung gulay tsaka prutas na nalagyan ng abo basta hugasan lang ng mahusay ‘yun at linisin, puwede po kainin ‘yun,” Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said at a Palace press briefing on Wednesday.

He said even plants cultivated in farms affected by the ashfall brought about by the Taal Volcano eruption are also safe for consumption as long as these are thoroughly washed with water.

Ashfall from Taal volcano blanketed crops and livestock in surrounding areas since its eruption began on Sunday.

The Department of Agriculture earlier reported that damage to crops and livestock has reached more than P500 million.

Meanwhile, Domingo advised the public to be cautious and refrain from eating fish caught in Taal lake and other bodies of water affected by the Taal eruption as these may contain toxins that can have harmful effects on human health.

“Might as well be cautious because we know that toxic substances have been thrown out of the volcano and na-dissolve ‘yan sa tubig,” he said.

Taal Volcano spewed ash on Sunday that sent thousands of residents scrambling for safety.

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has reiterated that no one should stay in the Taal Volcano island and other nearby areas susceptible to volcano tsunami, base surge, and ballistic projectiles as a result of the eruption.

Phivolcs said that Taal Volcano remains under alert level 4, which means that a hazardous eruption is possible within hours to days.

Confirmed polio cases in PH climb to 16 – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   January 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said it recorded four more confirmed cases of polio, bringing to 16 the total number of cases since the outbreak was declared in September 2019.

The DOH said two of the new cases were from Maguindanao – both males, two and three years old, as reported by the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).

The third case is a two-year-old boy from Sultan Kudarat while the fourth case is a three-year-old boy from Quezon City.

The children were said to have manifested with fever, diarrhea, muscle pain, asymmetric ascending paralysis and weakness of extremities.

In light of this, the DOH reiterated its call for parents to have their children vaccinated against the disease through its Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio (SPKP) campaign.

The department said the campaign’s succeeding rounds are scheduled from January 20 to February 2 in all regions of Mindanao, and from January 27 to February 7 in the National Capital Region.

“I urge all parents and caregivers of children under five years old to take part in the coming SPKP campaign rounds scheduled in your respective areas. Have your children, including those with private physicians or pediatricians, vaccinated with oral polio vaccine by health workers and bakunators,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement.

“Additional polio doses can provide additional protection to your children. There is no overdose with the oral polio vaccine,” he added.

In September 2019, the department confirmed the re-emergence of the disease in the Philippines 19 years after it was declared polio-free by the World Health Organization.

Residents, NGOs urged not to violate ‘off-limits’ order on Taal’s danger zone

Marje Pelayo   •   January 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Several residents are risking their lives to salvage their belongings and animals despite the dangers of returning to Taal volcano island.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reiterated that going inside the 14-kilometer permanent danger zone in the volcano island is illegal and highly dangerous because Taal Volcano may erupt anytime.

Kung ni-rescue man po nila, mabuti at nagpapasalamat po tayo na ganun na nabuhay po ang mga alaga nila (It’s good and we appreciate that they were able to rescue their animals alive),” NDRRMC Spokesperson Mark Timbal said.

Pero ang ikinakakaba po naming ay iyong kanilang pagbalik. Kasi they violated an ‘off-limits’ arrangement natin at saka ‘yung mandatory evacuation order for that particular area (But what we are concerned about is their journey back to the safe zone. They are violating our ‘off-limits’ arrangement and the mandatory evacuation order for that particular area),” he added.

Several images and videos were uploaded on social media showing residents ferrying their livestock to the shore.

Also, several members of animal welfare teams were reportedly caught stranded on the island.

According to the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), the three members of the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), were already rescued to safety.

“Kaninang umaga, tumawag kasi sila na medyo na-stranded nga daw sila. So, they asked for help to contact ang Coast Guard na mabilis naman pong umaksyon. Nakuha naman po sila (They called this morning asking for help to contact the Coast Guard because they were stranded. The Coast Guard immediately launched a rescue operation and they were brought to safety),” explained PAWS Executive Director Anna Cabrera.

The NDRRMC said residents and NGOs should coordinate first with them before they venture to the danger zone to discuss proper rescue procedures in rescuing the animals.

Maganda po ang intensyon nila, pero (Their intention is good but) what we are worried about is, what if something bad happens and they are within the 14-kilometer danger zone,” Timbal said.

Hindi po natin maga-guarantee ang safety ng mga taong ito (We cannot guarantee the safety of these people),” he added. MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)

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