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DOH warns of upsurge in dengue, leptospirosis infections amid nonstop rains

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) sees spike in the number of dengue and leptospirosis cases following the series of downpours that caused flooding in some areas.

 According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, reported leptospirosis cases have reached 623 from January 1 to July 14 this year with 68 deaths.

While dengue cases rose to 8,223 which is 17% higher than the reported cases in the same period last year.

“This rainy season of the last 2- 3 days, we expect again an upsurge in the number of leptospirosis and dengue cases…It’s always alarming if we have deaths so certainly because we have reported deaths,” Duque said.

The DOH previously declared an outbreak on leptospirosis in 29 villages in Metro Manila. Most of the cases were reported in Quezon City which reached 201.

In order to prevent any increase in the said number and to make the residents aware of the symptoms and prevention of dengue and leptospirosis, Duque made rounds in some flooded villages on Wednesday (July 18).

Secretary Duque reminds the public to seek medical consultation when symptoms appear instead of just taking doxycycline as this may lead to antimicrobial resistance.

“So kung hindi naman nalusong sa baha, wala ring epekto naman. Mahirap lang baka magkaroon pa ng antimicrobial resistance which is something that we would like to avoid.”

Duque further advises the public to seek a doctor’s advice on the correct antibiotic to use because doxycycline is not suitable to be taken by everyone such as pregnant women. –  UNTV News and Rescue

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Iloilo province declared dengue outbreak

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, July 5th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Governor Arthur “Toto” Defensor Jr. declared on Friday (July 5) dengue outbreak in the entire province of Iloilo.

Defensor signed and issued Executive Order No. 2019-016 to intensify measures to lower the spread of the infection.

The governor also directed all district and provincial hospitals “to extend free service and necessary assistance” to all patients with dengue.

Likewise, he calls on all local government units (LGUs) and municipal health offices across the province to conduct “Do Day Kontra Dengue Drive” or province-wide cleanup operations every Saturday starting July 6.

According to the provincial government, there are now 3,897 dengue cases recorded in the province of Iloilo since January 1, 2019.

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DOH: Dengue cases up by 80% compared with 2018

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Dengue cases in the country has risen by 80% this year, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

From January 1 to June 15 this year, the infection has hit more than 92,000 across the country.

Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo advises the public to maintain cleanliness of surroundings and do not let stored water be a breeding ground for dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

Since there is no tested vaccine for dengue, the DOH reminds the public especially the parents to keep their children protected from mosquito bites especially during daytime.

“Ang dengue mosquito kasi nangangagat iyan simula pagsikat ng araw hanggang lumubog ang araw so ito iyong mga oras na nasa eskwela ang mga bata, (Dengue mosquitoes attack from sunrise to sunset and that covers the period when the children are in school),” Domingo explained.

“Ina- advice natin (na) kapag maraming dengue (mosquito), magpantalon, mag- medyas, magsuot ng long sleeves kung maaari at maglagay ng insect repellant para habang nasa eskwela ang mga bata ay huwag po sana silang makagat ng lamok, (We advise that when we see mosquitoes around, wear long pants, sock, long sleeves and if possible put some insect repellent while your children are in school to prevent them from dengue-carrying mosquitoes,)” he concluded. – with details from Aiko Miguel

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Ways to stay healthy this wet season

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, July 1st, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Filipinos wade in a flooded street during a downpour in Quezon City, Philippines. (Ritchie Tongo/PVI)

MANILA, Philippines – Rainy season has officially started in the country.

But apart from preparing and bringing umbrella, coats, boots and other rain gears, the public is urged anew to take simple health precautions to ward off diseases common at this time of the year.

Among the common illnesses during wet season are influenza, dengue fever and leptospirosis.

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious and year-round disease but usually peaks during the rainy season.

To prevent coming down with the flu, health authorities are encouraging the public to get a vaccine against the virus and to boost the immune system by having a healthy diet.

Frequent and proper handwashing can also be one’s defense against the flu virus.

During rainy season, a spike in the number of leptospirosis cases is also observed. Humans may contract leptospirosis through skin abrasions and the mucus of the nose, mouth and eyes when wading in flood waters contaminated with animal urine, particularly from rats.

To avoid getting leptospirosis, one should wear boots or cover open wounds or broken skin if wading through floodwaters is inevitable.

The public is also reminded to take precautions against dengue fever which usually peaks during the wet season.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease transmitted by female mosquitoes mainly of the species Aedes aegypti.

To prevent contracting dengue virus, the public is urged to take these safety precautions, including searching for and destroying the breeding sites of dengue-carrying mosquitoes, wearing long sleeved shirts, using insect repellants and seeking early medical attention for fevers.

Health authorities also strongly advises the public against self-medication, especially when dealing with antibiotic medicines, as it can lead to antimicrobial resistance.

The World Health Organization defines anti-microbial resistance as the ability of a microorganism to stop an anti-microbial medication from working against it.

The DOH advises the public to immediately seek proper medical advice if they are experiencing symptoms of any diseases. (with details from Aiko Miguel)

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