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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June is the Dengue Awareness Month

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I first witnessed Dengue when I was still enrolled in an all male school somewhere in Lipa City. There was a breakout causing about 25% of the student population to be infected. Most are mild cases and were treated right away. But there are some who had to be confined for days in the hospital. One in particular caught my attention as we all were not aware that he was already in an alarming stage. The person seemed to have lost control of his mind and started to run in circles at the second floor of our dormitory. That is when we realized that he got the disease and so he was brought to the hospital. A classmate even had to donate blood for him. We were told that if he were brought to the hospital a few hours late, he would have died. That is how bad his dengue stage was during that time.

The Department of Health recently announced that this month of June is declared as Dengue Awareness Month. The DOH warns the public that the number of dengue cases in the Philippines is alarmingly getting higher. From January 1 to March 27, 2010 alone, they have already listed 11,803 cases which is 61% than the number of cases reported in the same period last year.

More information from DOH:

DENGUE HEMORRHAGIC FEVER is an acute infectious disease manifested initially with fever.

Transmission

Aedes aegypti, the transmitter of the disease, is a day-biting mosquito which lays eggs in clear and stagnant water found in flower vases, cans, rain barrels, old rubber tires, etc. The adult mosquitoes rest in dark places of the house.

Signs and Symptoms

a. Sudden onset of high fever which may last 2 to 7 days.
b. Joint & muscle pain and pain behind the eyes.
c. Weakness
d. Skin rashes - maculopapular rash or red tiny spots on the skin called petechiae
e. Nosebleeding when fever starts to subside
f. Abdominal pain
g. Vomiting of coffee-colored matter
h. Dark-colored stools

Prevention and Control

>> Cover water drums and water pails at all times to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

>> Replace water in flower vases once a week.

>> Clean all water containers once a week. Scrub the sides well to remove eggs of mosquitoes sticking to the sides.

>> Clean gutters of leaves and debris so that rain water will not collect as breeding places of mosquitoes.

>> Old tires used as roof support should be punctured or cut to avoid accumulation of water.

>> Collect and dispose all unusable tin cans, jars, bottles and other items that can collect and hold water.
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