Public urged to take precautions to avoid 'rainy season diseases'

Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2022 09:00 PM

A pedestrian purchases an umbrella  ABS-CBN News/file
A pedestrian purchases an umbrella from a sidewalk vendor at a footbridge in Pasay City on May 17, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/file

Experts from the Department of Health (DOH) and the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines are reminding the public to take extra precautions to avoid diseases prevalent during the rainy season.

This, as more dengue cases are being recorded in certain parts of the country.

In a briefing Thursday, the DOH said more or less 50,000 cases have been recorded in the first half of the year.

Dengue cases are on the rise in Central Luzon, Central Visayas, and the Zamboanga Peninsula, according to Dr. Jose Rene Grano of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines

This trend could be reversed, said DOH Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire, if the public follows what they say is the 4S and 4 o'clock habit.

"Maaari natin itong baguhin sa pangalawang kalahati ng taon, puksain natin ang dengue sa pamamagitan ng pagsunod sa ating 4S strategy at sa pagsasabuhay ng 4 o'clock habit," Vergeire said.

The 4S includes a) search and destroy, or looking for and removing areas that could be breeding areas of mosquitoes, b) secure self-protection, which means applying insect repellants and using pants to avoid mosquito bites, c) seek early consultation especially when symptoms are present, and d) support fogging and spraying in hotspot areas.

Internal medicine specialist Dr. Nikki Rose Chico says these diseases are not really caused by the rain itself, but because viruses and bacteria are usually present during the rainy season.

"Hindi naman ang rain ang nagcacause, nagkakataon lang na during this time, mas marami ang nagcacause ng ganitong trangkaso at ubo at sipon," she said.

Chico says the public must be wary of symptoms, as these are hard to differentiate from COVID-19 symptoms.

"Sa unang mga araw, mahirap talaga ma differentiate kasi nga pare-parehas ang symptoms, kadalasan lagnat, sakit ng ulo, sakit ng katawan," she said.

"Mas madidifferentiate kapag may ibang symptoms, para sa kaso ng dengue, ang presentation, mataas na lagnat, sumasakit ang katawan, buto-buto, ang pinagkaiba kapag dengue may warning signs, pagsakit ng tiyan, nosebleeding, rashes, senyales na bumababa sa platelet. Sa leptospirosis naman, makikita mo namumula ang mata nila, balat naninilaw, yung iba may episode na hirap umihi," she added.

In Barangay Tatalon, some residents have been anxious over "rainy season" diseases as their area is flood-prone.

"Pag umuulan nagkakasakit sila, yun talaga sakit nila dito, ubo, sipon, wala naman lagnat. Hindi namin pinaliligo sa ulan, laging sa loob ng bahay," said Connie Macahilig.

Dr. Chico reminded everyone to take general precautions, like avoiding wading in floods.

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