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PIA Press Release

Health authorities warn of rain-borne diseases

by Larry Lopez

Tabuk, Kalinga (19 June) -- With the onset of the rains this month, health authorities here warn of possible upsurge in rain-borne diseases such as dengue, typhoid fever, dysentery, malaria, flu, AH1N1 and leptospirosis.

Provincial Epidemics and Surveillance Unit (PESU) Officer Jose Pardito Jr said that based on records, there is a usual upsurge in the cases of these diseases during the rainy season hastening the mode of transmission.

For typhoid fever and dysentery, transmission is mostly through salmonella contamination in food and water, while dengue and malaria is due to accumulated waters in the surroundings and indoor containers. Flu and AH1N1 which are viral infections thrive mostly in wet and cool environment.

Records from the PESU show that in the first week of May alone, three suspected cases of typhoid fever were reported. Although typhoid cases need laboratory typhi test for confirmation, initial clinical diagnosis done on patients at the Provincial Hospital indicated typhoid fever symptoms.

For its prevention efforts, the Provincial Health Office called on residents to observe proper preparation of food and the need to boil drinking water, especially water that is fetched from springs and open sources.

At the same time, Pardito stressed on the practice of waste disposal and use of proper toilets instead of unhygienic waste disposal still practiced by some. "The practice by some people of just scattering their waste anywhere contributes largely to the spread of the disease", he warned.

The salmonella contained in the human waste is transmitted to the water or is carried by flies on the food, spreading it to other people, Pardito explained. Prevention is basically based on proper hygiene and maintaining clean environment.

Parents are advised to educate their young children on hygiene and proper handling of food they buy, since most of the patients reported are children aging 6-8 years old. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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