Tue, 07 Jul 2020

Amidst COVID-19, DOH warns of other deadly diseases during rains

Philippine Information Agency
01 Jun 2020, 20:38 GMT+10

ZAMBOANGA CITY, June 1 (PIA) - As the country faces the COVID1-19 pandemic, the Department of Health (DOH) here warns residents on the risks of contracting diseases during the rainy season, especially leptospirosis and the deadly dengue.

"With the rains, we are expecting that cases of dengue and leptospirosis will rise if proper preventive measures are not done," said DOH-9 assistant regional director Dr. Joshua Brillantes during the Philippine Information Agency's (PIA) Kapihan na Zamboanga last Friday (May 29).

To be safe from the dengue-carrying mosquitoes, the DOH continuously advocates for the 4-S strategy in the households. This include 1) search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, 2) self-protection measures such as wearing of long pants and long sleeves and use of mosquito repellents, 3) seek early consultation, and 4) support fogging or spraying only in hotspot areas. Dr. Brillantes also urged everyone to practice the "4-o'clock habit", or weeding out mosquito breeding sites every 4pm as the disease-carrying mosquitoes are known to be most active during this time.

Leptospirosis on the other hand is a disease caused by the leptospira bacteria that comes in contact with open wounds or breaks in the skin via flood waters, vegetation or moist soil contaminated with the urine of infected animals, most frequently rats. To prevent it, a person must avoid contact with possibly contaminated flood water.

Both diseases usually begin with a fever, and are deadly if not treated early.

Last August 2019, a national dengue epidemic was declared by the government after 146,062 cases were recorded from January to July 20, with 622 recorded deaths for the same period.

Meanwhile, Dr. Brillantes reminds parents to have their children vaccinated against polio and other preventable diseases. He advised them to keep watch for announcements from the health centers nearest them regarding vaccination schedules.

"The vaccines are free and tried and tested," he added. (RVC/DIS/PIA9-ZAMSULTA)

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