As the cool breeze of Christmas approaches this season, the Department of Health (DOH) advises the public to be cautious of the common illnesses that may occur during the holidays.

Leptospirosis/Philippines DOH Facebook page
Leptospirosis/Philippines DOH Facebook page

“The cold weather usually triggers respiratory problems unless appropriate preventive measures are taken, especially in areas affected by Typhoon Nona. Take care of yourself and your family against changes in temperature. Children and adults may become vulnerable to cough, colds, and fever.” Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto-Garin said.

The health chief explained that personal hygiene and hand washing is the key to prevent these illnesses. She advised that as much as possible, one must not wade in floods as these waters are contaminated and people may acquire leptospirosis. If it can’t be avoided, the public is advised to wear boots, and to immediately wash the exposed body parts with clean water and soap.

“People who are staying in evacuation centers are encouraged to wash their hands with clean soap and water before preparing food and before and after eating. Also, wash your hands after using the comfort room. It is also best that water is boiled for at least two (2) minutes before drinking. Breastfeeding should be continued. Breastmilk is the best and safest food for babies.” Garin added.

For those who usually go out of their homes at early hours of the morning to attend the ‘Simbang Gabi’ or stay late at night for parties, DOH advises to wear appropriate clothing as protection against the cold weather especially for children and elderly. However, people who are already sick with fever, colds, or cough are advised to immediately seek medical attention and refrain from crowded places in order to avoid complications.

Meanwhile, DOH retained hospitals, regional offices and facilities nationwide are placed in a “Code White Alert” starting December 21, 2015. The “Code White Alert” level puts all hospital personnel on standby for deployment and augmentation as the need arises for additional medical and other services.

“Protektahan natin ang ating sarili at ang ating pamilya sa disgrasya o anumang sakit. Magtulungan tayo upang ating makamit ang Kalusugan Pangkalahatan ngayong Kapaskuhan.” Garin concluded.