REGIONAL NEWS: DOH revives 4 o’clock habit; warns against dengue-related illness

BAGUIO CITY, June 14 (PIA) – – With the official start of the rainy season and with the observance of Dengue Awareness Month this June, the Department of Health (DOH) is reviving its “Four O’clock Habit” campaign, which calls for a community clean-up drive for possible mosquito breeding sites and a massive awareness campaign on how to combat dengue.

The campaign theme “Sugpuin ang Dengue! Mag 4 o’clock Habit: Stop, Look, and Listen, Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue (ABKD) Pagtibayin” calls on everyone to stop at 4 p.m., look inside and outside their houses to search and destroy possible mosquito breeding sites, and listen to barangay officials for the proper ways of eliminating dengue.

The program was first implemented in the 1990s.

DOH Center for Health and Development-Cordillera (CHD-CAR) Dengue Prevention and Control Program coordinator Dr. Alexei Marrero, in a kapihan media forum here Wednesday, affirmed the continuing increasing trend of dengue cases.

In the Cordillera, records show that from January to May 8 alone, there are already 814 cases including three deaths ase compared to the 796 cases recorded during the same period last year.

The DOH o noted an increase in cases in Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province and Baguio City, which also includes clustering (occurrence of three confirmed dengue case in an area within a four week period) of cases in some towns or barangays.

Meantime, Marrero also warned the public against Chikungunya, a viral disease that behaves like dengue and is also transmitted by the “Aeides” mosquito. He disclosed that there already confirmed cases in the Cordillera particularly in Lamut, Ifugao.

“Chikungunya manifests the same signs and symptoms like Dengue, except that it does not present with bleeding , and the most prominent and distinguish-ing symptom is the presence of joint pains which can recur weeks or even months after the infection”, Marrero explained.

Such viral disease has no specific treatment and no vaccine yet, which gives us more reason to apply the four O’clock habit, he stressed. The prevention and control measure that has to be done is to have massive clean-up drives and information capaigns to ensure that there are no possible dengue mosquito breeding sites in our comunities, Marrero added.#