Philippines Faces Wet Summer in 2011

By Joel C. Atencio

MANILA, March 22 (PNA) — The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday said it is getting ready for the possible outbreak of wet-season diseases during what is supposed to be the Philippines summer season.

Dr. Manuel Mapue of the DOH National Epidemiology Center-Applied Public Health Division (NEC-APHD) said dengue fever, diarrhea, leptospirosis, and pulmonary diseases are on their watch list.

Mapue gave general tips on how to avoid wet season diseases such as boiling water before drinking, or using DOH-prescribed disinfectants; to take vitamins C and D; and to make sure there will be no places with stagnant water where dengue mosquitoes can breed. The dengue mosquito breeds on stagnant clean water collected in empty bottles, cans, old tires, flower vases, bottle caps and the like.

The veteran medical specialist, who finished medicine at the Far Eastern University (FEU), was Tuesday morning’s guest at DZRB Radyo ng Bayan’s Talking Points Radio Show, hosted by broadcast journalists Alan Allanigue and Grace Refama Simando. It is produced by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), in cooperation with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). Also appearing in the program was Dr. Rosalie Paje, division chief of the DOH-Family Health Office. She talked about reproductive health (RH) care among married and single mothers.

Mapue said that they will begin their anti-dengue campaign earlier than usual this year due to the predicted rainy summer brought about by La Niña Phenomenon.

The DOH official also advised against wading in floodwaters, which can cause injuries and may be contaminated with rat urine that could cause leptospirosis.

Aside from wet-season diseases, the government is also watching for measles. “To prevent further cases of measles within the first part of the year, the DOH will embark on a nationwide mass vaccination of children nine months up to less than eight years old from April 4 to May 4,” Mapue said.

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