DOH urges public vigilance vs dengue
Iloilo City (15 September) -- Despite the decreasing trend of dengue cases in the region and no indications of clustering or outbreaks, the Department of Health (DOH) - Center for Health Development in Western Visayas (DOH - CHD WV) advised the public anew to continue their vigilance and careful observance of sanitation for their own safety.
The DOH-CHD WV Epidemiology report indicates that since January 1, 2006 there have already 9 deaths in the region due to dengue. The latest fatality was a 15 year-old boy from Oton, Iloilo who was admitted at the Western Visayas Medical Center and died last August 31, 2006.
The report further disclosed that from January 1 to September 2 this year, 871 dengue fever patients were admitted to the different sentinel hospitals in the region. The admissions are 33% lower as compared to the same period last year with the highest number of cases coming from the province of Iloilo and the cities of Bacolod and Iloilo.
The patients' ages ranged from 1 month to 88 years old with majority of cases belonging to the 1 to 9 years age group.
Showing her concern over the growing number of dengue cases especially in some areas of the country, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has already instructed the DOH to make a thorough assessment of the situation and take action in affected and vulnerable areas - especially in containing outbreaks and intensifying clean-up operations using the safest means available.
Dengue Fever is an acute infectious disease manifested initially with fever. This is transmitted by Aedes Aegypti, a day biting mosquito which lay eggs in clear water container, such as flower vases, cans, rain barrels, old rubber tires, etc.
To prevent the disease, the public is encouraged to observe the 4 o' clock habit such as the following: clean surroundings and any possible breeding places of mosquitoes; get rid of mosquito breeding places, empty receptacles that hold water; cover needed water receptacles or bins with tight lids; replace water in flower vases once a week; clean gutters of leaves and debris so that rain water will not collect as breeding places of mosquitoes; old tires used as roof support should be punctured or cut to avoid accumulation of water; and collect and dispose all unusable tin cans, jars, bottles and other items that can hold water. (PIA) [top]