DOH warns of fatal effects of flu

Marje Pelayo   •   January 31, 2019   •   14015

MANILA, Philippines – Influenza or flu is common nowadays as the northeast monsoon or amihan prolongs drop in temperature in the country.

Flu differs from common cough and cold since it is accompanied with high fever and muscle pain that last for days.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), flu season starts from the month of October to February.

But the DOH warns of the severe effects or complications that flu can cause to the human body which can be fatal if not immediately attended to.

“Binabantayan natin kung ano iyong strain at talagang by middle of the year nagbabakuna na tayo. Sa Pilipinas ang peak lang talaga ng flu-like illnesses itong panahon ng malamig,” explained Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo.

“Ang nakakatakot lang kasi na gusto nating ma- prevent iyong mga flu na nagkakaroon ng complication. Kasi maaari siyang mauwi sa pneumonia at of course maaaring in the end makamatay,” the health official warned.

In view of the possible outbreak, the DOH reminds the public to keep protected by strengthening the immune system.

Take vitamin C shots and more fluids like orange juice and six to eight glasses of water every day.

Sleep at least six to eight hours a day and make sure to exercise and eat fruits and vegetables.

Make it a habit to wear face mask especially when in crowded places or when travelling to avoid contracting flu virus.

Based on DOH records, flu cases in the country has declined this year as compared to the same period last year considering that the flu strain detected last year was stronger than those being monitored this year.

“Worrisome ang flu last year. Medyo matapang iyong flu last year hindi lang sa Pilipians kundi sa ibang bansa sa Amerika, sa Hong Kong. It was a virulent strain last year,” noted Domingo.

The World Health Organization (WHO) noted that the flu has become one of the severe health threats in the world this year.

The DOH advises parents to make sure their children get a complete set of vaccination to be well-protected.

Meanwhile, senior citizens may also avail of free flu shots in barangay health centers and DOH accredited hospitals. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Leptospirosis case now over 900; NKTI gym, converted into leptos ward

Maris Federez   •   August 20, 2019

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

Number of dengue cases in NCR exceeds alert threshold – DOH

Maris Federez   •   August 16, 2019

A child suffering from dengue fever receives medical treatment at an isolation ward of a government-run hospital in Manila, Philippines, 16 July 2019. (Photoville International)

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
  • Self- Protection
  • 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

Sanofi Pasteur optimistic Dengvaxia will be restored in PH market

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 15, 2019

French Pharmaceutical firm, Sanofi Pasteur expressed optimism that the Dengvaxia vaccine will be restored in the Philippine market.

In a statement, Sanofi Pasteur Philippines General Manager Jean Antoine Zinsou said they are open for a discussion with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health (DOH).

He also clarified that Dengvaxia is safe and effective to use.

According to Zinsou, the said vaccine was only banned in the Philippines because of incomplete documents or due to “administrative consideration.”

“We definitely need to settle this issue. One way to do it is to discuss with FDA and see what is needed to have this revocation lifted,” he said.

Zinsou also said Dengvaxia is registered in 20 countries across the globe and is acknowledged by the United States Food Drug Administration and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Meanwhile, Sanofi agrees with the DOH that Dengvaxia is not a solution to the Dengue epidemic in the country.

READ: Dengvaxia won’t bring dengue cases down – DOH

“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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