The Department of Health (DOH) today reminded the public to practice the 4-S campaign against dengue. Dengue, now a year-round disease, is an acute viral infection that affects mostly young children and infants.
Based on the latest data released by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, there are 36,664 dengue cases reported covering the period from January 1 to February 23, 2019. This is 14,703 or 67% higher compared to the same time period last year (21,961 cases).
Dengue is transmitted through a bite of dengue-infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. These mosquitoes can lay eggs in any space or container that holds clear and stagnant water like a bottle cap, dish dryer, plant axil, gutter, trash can, old rubber tire, etc. They usually bite between 2 hours after sunrise and 2 hours before sunset and can be found inside and outside the house.
“The first step to prevent dengue is within our homes, it is important to remove any space or container than can hold unnecessary stagnant water which may become breeding sites of mosquitoes," Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III emphasized.
The Enhanced 4-S implementation calls for everyone to become prime movers in controlling mosquito population and avoiding any possible dengue deaths within the community.
The Enhanced 4-S campaign stands for Search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites, secure Self-protection measures like wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts and daily use of mosquito repellent, Seek early consultation, and Support fogging/spraying only in hotspot areas where increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak.
The period of the drop in bodily temperature between 3-6 days of infection marks the transition of the disease from mild to more serious categories. Symptoms of dengue include sudden onset of fever of 2 to 7 days, plus two of the following: headache, body weakness, joint and muscle pains, pain behind the eyes, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rashes.
It is important to seek early consultation between 1-3 days of fever to immediately recognize the disease, which may require the patient to increase fluid intake, especially Oral Rehydration Solution that is proven to be life-saving for dengue patients.
If the fever temperature drops to at least 1° C or to almost normal between 3-6 days, health care providers should watch out if the fever comes back and strictly monitor the possible occurrence of warning signs. These warning signs include abdominal pain or tenderness, persistent vomiting, edema, mucosal bleeding (i.e. mouth, nose, etc.), and lack of energy.
"For the families of dengue patients, if any of these warning signs occur when the fever comes back, it is necessary to give the patient the right amount of oral fluids, especially Oral Rehydration Solution before immediately referring to the nearest hospital for confinement so that proper clinical management can be provided and serious complications can be avoided,” the health chief concluded.