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PIA Press Release
2009/06/04

Dengue cases diving

Manila (4 June) -- The government drive to reduce dengue cases is taking effect, the Department of Health reported Wednesday

During the launching of the government's nationwide anti-dengue campaign in Tondo, Manila, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque said the drop in cases is motivating government health workers to improve their services further.

"We are heartened by the heroic efforts of all those who worked hard so that there is a big 57.4% decrease in the number of dengue cases compared to the same period last year," Duque revealed, adding that even the case fatality rate has lowered to .9% compared to the 1% recorded in the same period.

Duque disclosed that the first five months this year already showed a steady decrease in the number of cases.

Data showed that from January to May 9, there were only 6,537 cases recorded with 62 deaths; the previous year's (same period) figure was 15,334 cases with 163 deaths.

Duque cited the role of the local chief executives in spearheading the campaign in their respective localities against the dreaded disease.

"With the 4S strategy that was widely disseminated in communities and schools last year, people became more aware how easy it was to prevent the spread of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes," Duque said.

The 4S strategy against dengue involves Search and Destroy, Self-protection, Seek early treatment, and Say no to indiscriminate fogging.

"Our success last year, however, should not lull us into complacency this year," Duque noted adding that dengue is now an all-year round phenomenon due to climate change.

Duque also underscored diseases common during rainy season called WILD diseases.

These consist of waterborne infectious diseases, influenza, leptospirosis, and dengue.

He added that these WILD diseases are easily preventable if only people will follow the advisories issued by the health department on television, radio, newspapers, and even on the internet via the DOH website.

Thirty seconds of handwashing with soap and water or the equivalent of singing the Happy Birthday song twice in order is good enough to remove most bacteria.

Also, Duque reminded everyone to use handkerchief or tissue when coughing or sneezing to prevent transmission of disease through droplet infection.

"The most important key to prevent and control diseases is empowering our people with correct information so that they can take steps to stop their transmission and limit the harm that they bring through proper and timely health-seeking behavior," Duque concluded. (PIA) [top]

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