By Glen S. Ramos/Benjamin F. Cuaresma
MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH)-CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) today advised residents of the region to prepare for the onset of rainy-day illnesses as the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration formally announced the start of the wet season last Friday.
It’s better to build a strong pre-emptive resistance against the common illness such as diarrhea, water-borne diseases like typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis, and vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue the DOH said.
Diarrhea is an increase in the frequency of loose or liquid bowel movements usually caused by a variety of bacterial, viral, and parasitic organisms.
Typhoid fever is an infectious disease commonly spread through contaminated food and water or through close contact with someone who is infected.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by food or water contaminated with the bacteria known as Vibrio cholera. The bacteria cause watery diarrhea that can lead to severe dehydration and death.
Diarrhea, typhoid fever, and cholera are all food- and water-borne diseases. These can be prevented by drinking water only from safe sources. Or if unsure, boil water for 3 minutes or do water chlorination.
Cook food well and always have it covered to prevent contamination from flies and other insects. Always wash hands before preparing or handling food and after using the toilet.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection transmitted by many animals, such as rodents and other vermin.
Waste products (such as urine and feces) of an infected animal, especially rats, contaminate the soil, water, and vegetation, especially during floods.
Authorities also advised avoiding swimming or wading in potentially contaminated floodwaters, and maintain cleanliness in the house to ensure control of rodents or rats.
Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever are acute viral infections that are caused by the bite of the dengue-carrying mosquito. Dengue can be avoided by practicing the 4-S against the disease which stands for search and destroy, self-protection measures, seek early consultation, and say yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak or hotspot.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. It can be prevented by using long-lasting insecticidal mosquito nets, especially during nighttime, and by following the advice of health workers on how to take anti-malaria drugs.
Personal hygiene including proper handwashing and regular community clean-up helps to combat these diseases.
Also, practice minimum health protocols like social distancing, proper cough etiquette, and wearing of face mask are also recommended to avoid the transmission and spread of these illnesses. (AI/MTVN)