The Philippines has reported in excess of 100,000 dengue fever cases through Aug. 20. Three locally acquired Zika virus cases have been confirmed in Iloilo City. Chikungunya outbreaks have been reported from several regions. Malaria is endemic is some regions and lymphatic filariasis is also an issue on the archipelago.

Image/Philippines DOH
Image/Philippines DOH

The Zika cases, which get so much media attention, has prompted Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial to order more intensive mosquito control campaigns.

Individuals who present with symptoms of rash, joint pains, and red eyes must visit health facilities to confirm the diagnosis. The public is advised to avoid mosquito bites by all means possible to prevent new infections and spread of the Zika virus.

Environmental clean-up to get rid of mosquito breeding sites should be done including targeted and pre-planned fogging to reduce adult mosquito density. Pregnant women and those who have potential to be pregnant are advised to visit their doctors for any illness developed during and around their  pregnancy.

Related: Ayoko sa Lamok: Filipino youth’s battle against dengue fever

The Department of Health (DOH) will support local governmental units (LGU) by distributing insecticide treated mosquito nets, insecticides and IEC materials to maintain a high level of awareness against Zika. The Bureau of Quarantine will continue to screen incoming travellers to identify travel-associated Zika.

Let’s go back to basics; we always say that prevention is better than cure. Prevention should start from our home. Make 4S a regular habit and participate in cleaning activities initiated in our community. 4S means Search & destroy mosquito breeding places, use Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation for fever lasting more than 2 days, and Say NO to indiscriminate fogging.” Secretary Ubial concluded.