DOH XI renews prevention awareness campaign vs dengue

June 10, 2013 10:21 pm 

DAVAO CITY, June 10 — The Department of Health (DOH) in the Davao Region has renewed the prevention awareness campaign of the dengue fever through the four o’clock habit.

Engineer Antonietta Ebol, program manager of the Dengue Program of DOH XI, said the current program called on all residents to stop, look and listen to prevent being afflicted with the dengue illness.

She said people must be wary that at 4:00 p.m. whether in the office or at home they should stop, look and destroy the breeding ground of mosquitoes.

Ebol said residents must also heed the voice of their barangay officials on the right information on prevention and control of dengue carrying-mosquitoes in their locality.

She said the 4 o'clock habit though launched in 1996 remains an effective prevention of dengue fever.“We need to relaunch this activity in order to involve all sectors since it has been a very effective control measure against dengue fever,” Ebol said.

She underscored that 8:00 o’clock and 4 o’clock are the times where dengue-carrying mosquitoes are active in feeding themselves.

Ebol said the four o’clock habit will be relaunched in other parts of the region in June 19, June 20, June 26, and June 27 at the Matina Central Elementary School, Tagum City, Davao del Norte, Monkayo, Compostela Valley, Digos City, Davao del Sur and Mati City, Davao Oriental.

Cleofe Tabada, chief of the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit, noted an increase in the incidents of dengue in the region to 4,916 as of June 4, 2013 from 3,016 on the same period 2012.

She said most of these cases were diagnosed as dengue fever by doctors when patients were admitted or referred to the medical facilities in the region.

"Though there was no confirmation that all of these incidents were dengue fever, but they were managed as dengue cases,” Tabada said.

She said the dengue fever campaign will be more intensified up to July, when the rainfall is highest in terms of frequency of occurrence.

Tabada said there is no medical cure yet for dengue cases aside from strong immune system.

“As long as you rest and feed yourself well, and have a healthy lifestyle, you cannot be easily afflicted with dengue. Incidentally not all people have strong immune system,” she said.

Tabada said usually cases of dengue would increase by about 20 percent starting second half to third half of the year.

She said dengue cases increased to 4,916 as of June 4 this year compared to the 3,015 cases in same period last year.

On the other hand, Ebol said the increasing trend is during said periods because of the volume of rainfall at that time of the year. Mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus called Aedes Aegypti breed in dark areas and in clear but stagnant water.

Ebol identified the month of July in each year as the peak season for dengue.

She said the best preventive measure against dengue is only a very good immune system, a healthy lifestyle, and a clean environment.

Since dengue virus is very difficult to isolate, until now medical experts failed to come up with a vaccine perfected to fight the virus, Tabada said.

To minimize dengue cases, DOH has revitalized the 4:00 p.m habit which refers to the cleaning and destruction of Aedes breeding areas.

The said activity was practiced in previous years but was not sustained.

Based on DOH advisories, Aedes mosquitoes is around to bite whole day but more specifically two hours before the sun rises and two hours before sunset.

Aedes mosquitoes want to bit hot skins and are attracted to movable victims. They usually attack on the side or back portions of a person. They can fly 50 to 300 meters away from breeding areas. They stand to live from 20 to 30 days. (PNA)

PDS/ASA/JOEY SEM G. DALUMPINES AND JUDY G. QUIORS/LDP

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