PIA doctor cites importance of early consultation to manage dengue
CALOOCAN CITY, June 26 (PIA) — A physician at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) reminded employees on the importance of consulting a doctor within the first three days of a fever in order to effectively identify and manage dengue.
“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,” Dr. Dean Hernando Zenarosa said, as the country observes National Dengue Awareness Month this June.
“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,” he added.
National Dengue Awareness Month is observed every June by virtue of Proclamation No. 1204 on April 21, 1998 by then President Fidel V. Ramos, to highlight how prevention and control of dengue would require collaborative efforts among national and local government agencies as well as private NGOs.
Zenarosa, however, said dengue has been considered by the Department of Health (DOH) as an all-year round disease which rises in incidence during the rainy season due to presence of more breeding places for disease-causing aedes aegypti type of mosquitoes.
“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,” he added.
According to the latest DOH data, over 1,100 people, almost half of them children age 5 to 9, died of dengue in 2019.
This prompted the DOH to declare a national dengue epidemic last year when cases reached 271,480 from January to August, the highest in Southeast Asia. This started a nationwide campaign against Dengue, the doctor added.
He said it is also important to observe the “4 O’Clock Habit” to curb the population of dengue-carrying mosquitoes and protect love ones from the deadly disease.
“The ‘4-o’clock habit’ is a strategy that seeks to raise awareness and encourage the community to do its share and take time to weed out dengue breeding sites at 4 p.m. every day. It has been known that mosquitos carrying the disease are most active at dusk around this time and religiously,” he explained.
Regarded by the DOH as one of the primary interventions to prevent and control dengue, the 4-o’clock habit focus on searching and destroying mosquito breeding sites.
“While we are all pre-occupied with bigger issues, like COVID-19, let us not forget that there are other diseases and threats around that may be just as fatal if there is lack of awareness and no prevention done. We should continue to take measures that would hasten the resurgence of diseases as dengue by keeping our surroundings clean and making sure that personal hygiene is practiced. Stay Safe!” he added. (PIA-NCR)