DOH cautions public vs ‘WILD’ disease

Department of Health (DOH) Central Luzon cautions the public against the so-called ‘WILD’ diseases.

DOH Regional Director Corazon Flores said local government units (LGUs) must remain vigilant in preventing and controlling the possibility of outbreaks by providing directives in raising awareness of these communicable diseases especially during the rainy season. 

WILD diseases stand for water and foodborne diseases, influenza-like diseases, leptospirosis, and dengue. 

“In Central Luzon, a total of 5,596 influenza-like illness cases were reported in 2020 while 2,268 cases were reported for the months of January to May this year. About 26 percent of these cases were admitted. In addition, 53 cases of leptospirosis, and 8,980 cases of dengue were also reported for the same months respectively, based on data from the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit,” Flores disclosed. 

There is usually an increase in dengue cases during rainy season because of the stagnant water from flooding, which is also known to be a good habitat for dengue mosquitoes. 

“Aside from dengue, the typhoon season may form floodwaters which may be contaminated with Leptospira bacteria and cause leptospirosis,” she furthered. 

Another type of disease that the public needs to watch out are water and foodborne diseases including diarrhea, typhoid fever, and cholera.

Influenza is also among the prevalent rainy season diseases, which is highly contagious.

To combat these, DOH urges the public to keep their immune system strong, eat healthy foods, practice hygienic and sanitary preparation of foods, and avoid contamination of drinking water. 

“Water and foodborne diseases can easily be prevented if we avoid eating street food, as well as uncooked meat or seafood. We must also consume food within the prescribed period or before expiration date; and cook food thoroughly,” Flores said. 

To prevent flu-like diseases, there is a need to always bring an umbrella; while it is best to avoid floodwater to prevent leptospirosis. 

“However, if there is really a need to go out in the flood, be sure to wear boots and other protective gear so that leptospirosis bacteria will not enter our wounds and other openings,” Flores said.

The official also encourage the public to practice the 4S strategy against dengue including the search and destroy mosquito breeding sites; self-protection measures including use of mosquito repellent and wearing of long sleeves and pants; 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.

These ‘WILD’ diseases, according to Flores, can easily be prevented if the public works hand-in-hand with the health care workers and LGUs in maintaining cleanliness in their homes and communities, and having a strong immune system.

“As we are still in the midst of a pandemic, we urge everyone to take all the necessary precautions against these diseases as they may create severe complications and weaken our immune system if we contract COVID-19. adversely affect our health if we contract COVID-19,” she said. (CLJD/MJSC-PIA 3)

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