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DOH to public: Kill mosquitoes, keep dengue down

by Kiko Cueto

The Department of Health (DOH) said that while they continue to observe a plateau in the epidemic curve of Dengue cases in the country, but warns and advises the public not to be complacent. 

The end of El Niño, along with the onset of the rainy season brings with it more water that can serve as mosquito breeding grounds. 

Kill mosquitoes to keep Dengue down.

While there has been a slight increase (3%) in cases from 5,212 last April 14 to April 27 to 5,359 last April 28 to May 11, a lower number was recorded at 3,992 from May 12 to May 25. 

Courtesy: AFP

The DOH is cautious with this interpretation as case counts may change with late reports coming in, and we are already in the rainy season. From the start of the year up to May 25, 67,874 Dengue cases have already been recorded, with 189 deaths.

Dengue is caused by a virus that mosquitoes spread to people. It is common in tropical climates like what the Philippines has. 

Most who get dengue will not experience symptoms, but should there be, the most common are high fever (40 C), severe headache, muscle and joint pains, nausea, and rashes. 

There may also be pain behind the eyes, vomiting, and swollen glands. Symptoms start 4-10 days after exposure from a mosquito bite, and can last for 2-7 days. Most will get better in 1–2 weeks.

Some people get severe dengue which can be fatal, and will have to be treated in a hospital. Symptoms of severe dengue often come after the high fever has gone. These symptoms include: severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums and nose, fatigue, restlessness, blood in vomit or stool, intense thirst, pale and cold skin, and feeling weak.

Dengue is treated for its symptoms, often with pain medicine, as there is no specific treatment at present. The best way to prevent dengue is to avoid mosquito bites, especially during the day.

“The solution is simple to say but needs community effort to do: kill mosquitoes so that the dengue they bring will not kill you. The rains may have started but we can still search and destroy mosquito breeding sites – wherever water can accumulate and stay still,” said Health Secretary Teodoro J. Herbosa.

The DOH also advises the use of self-protection measures like long sleeves and pants that cover the skin, or mosquito repellent lotions and sprays. Seek early consultation for any symptoms like fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, nausea, and rashes. Say yes to fogging where needed.

“Dengue is seasonal. We may have low case counts now, but if we relax, they will go up more than we want. Keep killing mosquitoes and stop them from biting you and your loved ones. Let’s keep Dengue down!” reminded Secretary Herbosa. 

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