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PIA Press Release
2006/10/06

Global warming triggers dengue upsurge, says WHO

DAGUPAN CITY (6 October) -- Global warming, the environmental phenomenon, has partly contributed to the upsurge of dengue not only in the Philippines but in other tropical countries as well.

Dr. Jean Marc Olive, country representative of the World Health Organization, told newsmen here that other elements to blame for the rise in the dengue disease include population growth, urbanization, lack of investments in public sanitation, drainage and all that come along with urban development which were not fully controlled and fully planned.

Dr. Olive delivered a message during the launching of the expansion program of the Safe Water Project using a proven disinfectant called Hyposol 1 sponsored by the Department of Health regional office headed by Director Eduardo Janairo.

Olive however clarified, that there is really nothing to panic about as far as the dengue disease is concerned because the number of cases registered so far this year is still smaller compared to the number of cases last year.

He admitted that dengue is a disease that is difficult to fight because it comes from the environment but he pointed out that if people will really clean around their houses and prevent a condition for the breeding of mosquitoes, there in no disease that will occur.

"Things like fogging don't really work. The solution is proper cleaning around the household, and removing tires and flower pots that can be very good breeding sites for mosquitoes, can do a lot to prevent the disease," Olive said.

He added that health centers should also be ready to diagnose the disease properly and provide the patients proper treatments to prevent complications.

Asked what he can recommend to the Philippine government in order to control dengue that is still raging in Metro Manila, Bulacan and other parts of the country, Olive said the central government can ask the cities and municipalities to set a day of the week for their citizens to clean their households and surroundings at the same time.

On the matter of dengue outbreak threshold that has become somewhat confusing, Olive said that from what he saw, there is no dengue outbreak in the Philippines yet because the case that were recorded were below the threshold that was recorded last year.

"If you go by the district, then maybe there is an outbreak," Olive said, referring to the statistics of dengue per district in Metro Manila.

Olive maintained his previous statement aired in an interview by a national television in which he said that "there in no cure, and no vaccine yet in development for dengue."

"What the doctor can only do so is to prevent the high fever, re-hydrate the patient properly and if its dengue hemorrhagic, then he needs blood and the doctor ought to reduce the complications," he said. (PIA-Pangasinan) [top]

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