Ways to stay healthy this wet season

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2019   •   1358

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)

DOH: No recorded case of dengue transmission through sexual intercourse in Phl

Maris Federez   •   November 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) said there are no clear expert studies yet on the supposed recorded case in Spain of dengue transmission through sexual intercourse.

Based on a report, a male tested positive of dengue after having sexual intercourse with his partner who has dengue.

The health department said it was an isolated case.

“E kasi ito naman hindi siya the usual, this is very atypical. So, the chances of its spreading via that route are very low,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

Sec. Duque said the DOH is rather concerned over unprotected sex which causes an increase in the number of HIV-AIDS cases in the country.

He added that the alleged transmission of dengue virus through sexual intercourse will remain theoretical or mere speculation.

 He underscored that the Philippines has yet to record a similar case of dengue transmission.

The department, he said, is pushing for safe sex and clean living, especially this year when the country is recording an average of 35 individuals who are HIV positive daily.

“I will not be worried that there can be an epidemic of dengue via that route because there already is with mosquitoes. So, I would be worried for lack of protection primarily because we don’t want anymore HIV-AIDS cases as much as possible. So incidental lang iyong isa e to the main issue of unprotected sex. It’s a (very) collateral issue,” Duque said. (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

DOST eyes research-based techs to address dengue problem

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 5, 2019

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) wants to look into research-based technologies to address the dengue problem in the country.

DOST Secretary Fortunato T. de la Peña said the department has funded several research projects and programs to aid in addressing the different aspects of the disease.

“Through the DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, we have funded a number of research projects and programs consistent with the multi-prong approach in the control of dengue that address different aspects such as diagnosis and treatment,” he said.

One of the researches supported by the DOST is the Biotek M which is a rapid diagnostic test for dengue. This kit can diagnose dengue as early as two to three days after the onset of illness.

They are also looking into a possible herbal medicine for dengue.

“Dengue research and development has always been one of the priority research areas in the country. This is stated in the Harmonized National Research and Development Agenda led by the DOST,” said Sec. de la Peña.—AAC

Dengue cases continue to rise; 11 regions still exceed dengue alert threshold

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 3, 2019

Dengue cases in the country continue to rise with 229,736 cases and 958 deaths reported from January 1 to August 17.

Eleven regions still exceed the alert threshold for three consecutive weeks.

Based on the recent Dengue Surveillance Report, 13,327 dengue cases were recorded from August 11 to 17 with 40 deaths.

Region 1 and the National Capital Region (NCR) has exceeded the dengue alert threshold.

CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Regions 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, and BARMM, on the other hand, have exceeded the epidemic threshold.

The recorded dengue cases for from August 11-17 this year is 54% higher compared to the recorded cases last year during the same period.—AAC (with reports from Mai Bermudez)

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