DOH EXPECTS 2019 AS ‘BIG DENGUE YEAR’; CAUTIONS PUBLIC
MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday reminded the public anew to take precautionary measures to avoid contracting dengue amid the increase of the cases of the disease nationwide.
“We’re preparing because we’re expecting 2019 to be a big dengue year. The way dengue behaves is that you get one or two years of low cases and on the third year, tumataas ([it] rises),” Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo said in a television interview.
The DOH Epidemiology Bureau (EB) has reported 48,634 dengue cases in the first quarter of 2019 with 184 deaths.
The figure showed significant increase from 23,328 cases with 150 deaths for the same period last year.
The DOH EB said Central Visayas has the highest number of cases this year with 5,421 followed by Metro Manila with 4,855 cases, Calabarzon with 4,851 cases, Caraga Region with 4,570 cases and Central Luzon with 4,009 cases.
Domingo said the cases are expected to rise in June which is the start of the rainy season.
However, he warned the public against possible attack of dengue-carrying mosquitoes in the day during summer time.
“Iyong dengue mosquito kasi bites during the day so usually mga dawn hanggang an hour or two after sunset, so during the day syempre nakakatakot pa rin dengue sa mga bata (The dengue mosquito bites during the day so usually from dawn until an hour or two after the sunset, so during the day of course dengue is still unsafe for children) and then the very old, so protect our children,” he said.
He added that such mosquitoes also breed in stagnant waters, such as those in clogged rain gutters, sewers and discarded tires.
Those who have been injected with the anti-dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia, are still susceptible to the disease, Domingo said.
“Iyong mga nabakunahan dati, we tell them huwag na nating hintayin na grabe yung nararamdaman ng mga bata, basta may lagnat, isa, dalawang araw, may masakit ang tyan, masakit ang ulo, masakit ang mata dalhin na agad sa hospitals natin (Those who have been vaccinated before, we tell them not to wait for the condition of the child to worsen. As long as they have fever, one, two days, stomach pain, headache, and pain in the eyes, bring them immediately to our hospitals),” he said.
Sudden onset of high fever for two to seven days, joint and muscle pains, pain behind the eyes, weakness, skin rashes, nose bleeding, abdominal pains, vomiting, dark-colored stool, and breathing difficulty are the symptoms of dengue.
The DOH urged the public to practice the 4-S strategy in their households –search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites; self-protection measures like wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts and daily use of mosquito repellent; seek early consultation; and support fogging or spraying only in hotspot areas where increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak. (PNA)