DOH warns public of diseases from drinking contaminated water

Marje Pelayo   •   June 27, 2019   •   1561

MANILA, Philippines – Due to frequent service interruptions, clients of Maynilad and Manila Water are depending on water rations to survive their daily need for water.

Households are making sure to store water which they can use when taps run out of water.

But the Department of Health (DOH) has warned the public to be very careful in using stored water as they may be contaminated.

The Health Department explained that bacteria may thrive in stored water usually in open containers and those that are not regularly cleaned.

Also, tap water may be contaminated from being stuck in the faucet during longer hours of service interruptions.

“Iyong mga organisms na galing sa surroundings, sa maduming water, sa soil pwedeng mapasok doon sa tubo kasi may leak (Organisms coming from the surroundings, from contaminated water, may enter the tap due to leak),” explained DOH-NCR Asst. Regional Director Paz Corrales.

“Siyempre darating ang tubig dadaan doon. Tayong mga household na mga consumers ng water ang siyang maaapektuhan (Water flows through it. The households will be the most affected),” she added.

The common types of water-borne diseases, according to DOH, are cholera, typhoid fever, and diarrhea which can lead to dehydration and death.

Thus, the DOH advises the public to maintain the cleanliness of surroundings and make it a habit to you’re your hands especially the children.

If in doubt, bring the tap water into boil to kill the bacteria.

Aqua tabs or chlorine tabs are also available and can be acquired for free in local health centers.

“The usual na pakuluan ang tubig na lumalabas pero ang pagpapakulo ay hindi iyong (basta) pinakulo mo na,papatayin mo na (dapat) 10 minutes (The usual is we boil tap water but it is not just mere boiling. It has to be at least 10 minutes boiling time),” explained Corrales.

The DOH also reminds the public to make sure that water containers are covered to prevent them from becoming breeding grounds for dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

It would also help if we use water filters to separate and eliminate residues from the running water.

For nursing mothers, breastfeeding is also very important to strengthen the baby’s immune system.

“We really promote exclusive breastfeeding kasi sa breastfeeding, you get the most nutritious of the nutritious food. The very essential nutrients ay nandodoon (are present in it) to help you combat infection,” Corrales concluded. – with details from Aiko Miguel

DOH Region 3: Over 100 Chinese workers, now dengue free

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 21, 2019

The Department of Health (DOH) Region 3 has reported that the over 100 Chinese workers who contracted dengue in Morong, Bataan are now free of the disease.

The Chief of the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit of DOH Region 3 Dr. Jessie Fantone said 69 of the Chinese workers have contracted dengue last March. The remaining 35 were reported to have contracted the diseases this August.

“All of them got well and wala namang namatay. Kaya lang noong pinuntahan namin iyong plant nila marami silang areas na stagnant water na breeding sites (There were no fatalities, but when we visited their plant, there was a lot of stagnant water which can be become breeding sites),” he said.

Meanwhile, cleaning operations continue at the barangay where the coal plant is located.—AAC (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

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