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PIA Press Release

DOH warns public to be wary vs dengue, fatal rainy-season diseases

Baguio City (6 June) -- At the moment, there are no reported alarming cases brought by the so-called WILD diseases or Water-borne diseases, Influenza, Leptospirosis and Dengue, that are prevalent during the rainy season, however, the public must continue to be vigilant, the Department of Health warns.

The Department of Health (DOH-CAR) reported that it has recorded 198 dengue cases with one death here in Cordillera from January 1 up to May 9, 2009. This figure is 10 cases more compared to the same period last year.

In Baguio City, the number of cases decreased from 138 to 71 now compared to the same period last year.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III recently disclosed that the first five months this year already showed a steady decrease in the number of dengue 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, ha s just recently launched the health government's nationwide anti-dengue campaign in Tondo, Manila dubbed as, "Ako, Ikaw, Tayong Lahat Laban sa Dengue."

As part of the information, education and communication (IEC) campaign against dengue mosquitoes, the DOH- CHD is inculcating the Four S' strategy, for Search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, Self protection, Seek early consultation and Saying yes to fogging only during outbreaks.

CHD-CAR Regional Director Myrna Cabotaje informed that insecticide treated curtains were already distributed by CHD in coordination with Department of Education to all capital towns in the region which will be given to identified schools in the locality with dengue cases in the past.

She explained that dengue-carrying mosquitoes are day-biting mosquitoes and curtain is an appropriate instrument to protect the pupils and students from mosquitoes while they are in school.

Cabotaje also informed that Cordillera region is free from cases of leptospirosis, that can be acquired from contaminated floodwaters.

"WILD diseases have been around longer than A (H1N1) and affects young children particularly during this time of year. Actually, proper hand washing and good respiratory manner will protect our children not only from H1N1 but also for most of these diseases," Duque stressed.

In the case of the A H1N1, the DOH reiterated that there is no community outbreak yet of the said influenza virus, as they advice the public to continue to be vigilant and heed the health department's call to take all the necessary precautionary and preventive measures.

Locally, Cabotaje announced that since May 22, they have already monitored 22 Cases under observation(CUOs) and of the two who tested positive, a test on the repeat swabbing of one of them, a 13 year old male foreigner, resulted negative but he was still advised to practice social distancing. The result of the repeat swab of the second case is still pending.

"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 said. (PIA) [top]

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