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PIA Press Release

Dengue cases up in Negros Occidental

Bacolod City (17 February) -- Dengue cases in Negros Occidental increased by 46 percent in January compared to the same period in 2009, despite the dry spell in many areas brought on by the El Niņo phenomenon.

Dengue fever is an acute illness of sudden onset that usually follows a benign course with fever, headache, exhaustion, rashes, and severe muscle pain, frequently accompanied by sore throat, dizziness, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.

It is caused by a bite of a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito which has previously bitten an infected person. This type of mosquito spreads during rainy seasons but can breed all year round in standing water in flower pots, plastic bags, tires, and cans.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Luisa Efren said that 96 cases of dengue were recorded in January compared to 53 in the same period last year.

Efren said health units are closely monitoring areas with higher incidence of dengue cases in the province.

Dengue mosquitoes bite during the day time. The highest biting intensity is about 2 hours after sunrise and before sunset. It is best to wear full sleeves clothing and long dresses to cover as much of your body as possible during these times if possible.

Use repellents but be careful in using them in young children and the elderly. Use mosquito coils and electric vapor mats during daytime. Use mosquito nets to protect children, old people and others who nap during the day.

Like most viral diseases there is no specific cure for dengue fever. Antibiotics do not help. Paracetamol is the drug of choice to bring down fever and joint pain. Aspirin and Ibuprofen should be avoided since they can increase the risk of bleeding.

The Provincial Health Office is continuing its anti-dengue information drive, while search and destroy operations against mosquito breeding places is being undertaken. (PIA/cad) [top]

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