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PIA Press Release
2006/10/03

Dengue, controlled but still a cause for alarm

By Miriam P. Aquino

San Fernando City, La union (3 October) -- Dengue is a flu-like viral disease caused by the bite of infected mosquitoes usually present during the day, though studies show that these are also present during nighttime, which if not treated instantly can lead to a complication called "dengue hemorrhagic fever".

A person bitten by a carrier mosquito (aegis aegypti) show signs/symptoms which starts with high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, severe muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite which is often followed by rashes that appears 3-4 days after the start of a fever.

The anti-dengue drive remains a high priority, as the DOH and local officials are stepping up anti-pollution and cleanliness campaigns.

In the City of San Fernando, City Health Officer Dr. Eduardo Posadas said in an interview that from January of this year to present, 249 cases of dengue were treated with both the children and adults involved. It has increased in number as compared to last year with 243 cases but with 2 recorded casualties.

This increased in number of cases was already expected because of the 3 year peak cycle which is normal in this kind of disease, Posadas explained.

However, the City government thru the City Health Office, has been conducting yearly standard operating procedures before the rainy season like fumigation and cleaning in schools and different barangays, as well as conducting epidemiological surveys on places or surroundings where presence of aegis aegypti mosquito is positive.

Barangay Santiago, this city, is one of the places where they've found carrier mosquitoes on bromeliad plants as breeding area, which were later uprooted to prevent the increase in number of this insects. Empty bottles of mineral water and old tires were also discarded. Barangays Catbangen and Sevilla were also on a tight watch for this case.

Part of the program is an education drive through the grassroots level where they distribute flyers and primers on dengue.

For the fumigation activities on different barangays, he also added that the Association of Barangay Captains give a fair share to make this successful.

In schools, they do this yearly in May on day care centers, public schools which were given 3 rounds of fumigation and on private schools given two rounds. As a result, in the previous years, dengue was proven to have captured the schools but for this year they were spared, Posadas said.

For the whole province, Engineer Rolando Lecitona, Engineer III of the Provincial Health Office, said that from January to September 25 of this year, 554 cases have been recorded with 2 deaths, 1 in Balaoan and another in Sto Tomas.

The City of San Fernando has the highest number of cases for this year with 249, next is Bauang 48, Balaoan 41, Naguilian 39, Bacnotan 36, San Juan 26, Agoo 26, Sto. Tomas 21, Aringay 11, Luna 11, Caba 8, Santol 7, San Gabriel 6, Bagulin 6, Rosario 6, Bangar 5, Pugo 2, Tubao 2 and Sudipen 1.

The Provincial Government, Lecitona said, bought 3 fogging machines being lent to different municipalities as well as insecticides, larvaecides and chlorine which they distribute to different hospitals, the city and municipalities and providing them with all the necessary information in fighting this dreadful disease.

The government is working and doing the best they can to integrate cleanliness and hygiene as part of the Filipino life through grassroots education correlating pollution with diseases. (PIA La Union) [top]

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