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PIA Press Release
2010/03/16

DOH reports no unusual diseases due to El Niņo

Bacolod City (16 March) -- If the El Niņo phenomenon has caused havoc to agriculture, the Department of Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral told local media here that the dry spell has not really caused so much of a problem health wise.

Aside from the usual summer diseases like measles, chicken pox and prickly heat, the DOH Secretary said they are watching out for paralytic shellfish poisoning in areas where there are algae blooms such as red tide.

"There are also some diarrheal diseases born out of spoiled food especially that its summer and its warm, food spoils very quickly," Cabral warned.

In order to avoid food poisoning, diarrhea and other heat-associated ailments, the DOH has posted an advisory on their website.

The advisory warned the public of diseases like food and water-borne which include typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, and other diseases like sore eyes, measles, dengue, malaria, sunburn and prickly heat.

DOH suggested the following health tips:

Food and drinks

  • Cook food properly.
  • Preferably, foods must be eaten immediately after cooking (while still hot).
  • Left-over food should be refrigerated and reheated before being eaten.
  • Food handlers should wash their hands before and after food preparation.
  • If sick, you should avoid preparing food for others.
  • Avoid drinking water and iced beverages of doubtful quality.
  • If water quality is doubtful, boil your drinking water for at least 2 minutes.
  • Peel and wash fruits / vegetables before eating.
  • Wash hands before and after eating.

At the beach

  • Do not allow children to swim without the company of an adult who can swim and is not drunk.
  • Avoid staying under the sun with scanty clothes for more than 3 hours as this predisposes to sunburn, heat exhaustion and the worst, heat stroke.
  • Should you want a tan, drink plenty of fluids so as not to dehydrate yourself.

While on the road

  • Check your vehicle very well before going on a trip.
  • Bring your repair kit with you.
  • When drunk, never attempt to drive.

However, because of the scourging heat brought by the El Niņo phenomenon, the DOH also advised the public to drink more fluids, listen to updates on shellfish ban, wear light clothing and avoid strenuous physical activity to avoid heat cramps, heat exhaustion, exertional heat injury and heat stroke. (PIA/EAD) [top]

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