MANILA, Philippines – Tainted water or anything that has been contaminated with bacteria and other harmful organisms must not be consumed by humans due to risks of contracting diseases, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
When in doubt if water is clean or when a water pipe leaks, DOH said, water must be boiled two to three minutes prior to consumption.
DOH also does not recommend drinking urine, rainwater or sea water as these may contain natural and chemical waste materials which can harm one’s health.
Water sourced from deep wells can only be consumed after boiling, or when the deep well was dug far from a residential area.
“It is safe when a community, our houses are from the sources of drinking water. Houses should also have septic tanks where human wastes should go. There shouldn’t be contamination from the source of the drinking water,” DOH Spokesperson Undersecretary Eric Domngo said.
He added that drinking contaminated water might cause a person to develop Hepatitis-A, Cholera, Diarrhea and Typhoid fever, which are among the water-borne diseases.
A person who seldom takes a bath or washes hands can also contract several diseases such as boils and measles.
“Hand washing with soap and water really prevents a lot of diseases and transmission of diseases like sore eyes, measles and even chicken pox. Hand washing plays a big role to prevent transmission of diseases, keep clean and sanitize like using alcohol,” Domingo said.
Thoroughly washing ingredients like meat, fish and vegetables before cooking is also essential to prevent food poisoning, he added.
When it comes to personal hygiene, Domingo said, enough water and detergent must also be used in washing clothes.
However, use of too much fabric softener must be avoided to prevent body odor or even dermatitis, especially if clothes are not rinsed properly.
The Health Department also advises the public to save and store clean water for drinking, bathing, and cleaning.
Domingo added that water secreted by plants, such as cactus, bamboo and banana should only be used for survival.
He added that water is also very important in conducting medical operations and dialysis, and in maintaining cleanliness in hospitals to avoid infectious diseases which may lead to death. – Robie de Guzman / Aiko Miguel
The National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) has turned its gymnasium into an alternative ward for leptospirosis patients.
This is to accommodate patients with leptospirosis and be provided with immediate treatment for the deadly disease.
The Department of Health (DOH) said the recent rains that caused flooding had contributed to the increase in the number of leptospirosis patients in Metro Manila alone.
To date, the DOH has recorded 106 fatalities and more than 900 cases of leptospirosis. 300 of which are from the NCR.
“It’s really a problem because you know the environmental, sanitation and hygiene do affect the health of our people because the local government, for example, do not do their efficient garbage collection, so certainly it raises the risk of the populace,” DOH Sec. Francisco Duque added.
This, however, is still low compared to what was recorded last year in the last 2 years.
The DOH then urged the public to maintain cleanliness in their respective surroundings to prevent leptospirosis. (with details from Mai Bermudez) /mbmf
The National Capital Region (NCR) has recorded more than 11,000 dengue cases from January to August 10 this year.
This is 33% higher than what was recorded in the past five years.
“It’s starting to rise and just like the other regions that began with the alert levels, naging epidemic level na sila [they’ve reached the epidemic level]. Pwede pa ring sumipa ang dengue. Kaya hindi ho tayo pwedeng magpahinay-hinay [Dengue case can still go up. That’s why we should not be complacent],” Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque said.
The cities in the NCR where dengue cases have spiked include Paranaque, Malabon, Taguig, Makati, and Mandaluyong.
The DOH clarified that no medicine, supplement, or vaccine had been proven to cure dengue.
The health department also supports the move of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to fund the distribution of food supplements which may help increase an individual’s platelet count to avoid dengue.
“Wala namang gamot ang dengue. Wala ring bakuna. At kung meron man sila ng inaalay na makakagamot, hindi po totoo iyan. Ito po ay food suppmement lamang at kinakailangan merong FDA certificate of product registration [There is no medicine for dengue. No vaccine either. And if there are some who offer something that’s supposed to cure dengue, it’s not true. It’s just a food supplement and it needs to have FDA certificate of product registration],” Duque added.
The health official then reminded the public to clean their surroundings and eradicate dengue-mosquito breeding areas through the 4 o’clock habit using the 4S strategy:
Search and Destroy
Seek Early Consultation
Support Space Spraying
This is to further prevent the number of dengue cases in Metro Manila to further exceed the health department’s alert threshold. (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf
“The vaccines that we are mentioning is not a solution or a silver bullet for the ongoing outbreak. We are open to any discussion with the health authorities to see what is needed, what do they need for the future,” Zinsou said.
In February this year, the FDA revoked the certificate of product registration of Dengvaxia.
Sanofi already filed an appeal two weeks ago and the DOH will release their decision on the issue on August 19.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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