Health officials in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur are warning the public to take precautions against dengue fever as the province heads into the rainy season when the risk of contracting mosquito-borne disease is high.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

We should always observe preventive measures to stop mosquitoes from breeding, said Dr. Ali S. Descallar, senior medical consultant of the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

Descallar advised residents of the province to keep their surroundings clean including canals and other areas where there is stagnant water which might be used as breeding sites by dengue-carrying mosquitoes. He said gutters, old tires, flower vases and pots, and other containers that can hold water should also be cleaned regularly to get rid of stagnant water.

Water drums and pails should be covered all the time  and household waste materials be disposed properly, he further said. In addition, he advised patients to seek medical advice in case symptoms of the disease developed.

Lanao del Sur has already recorded 166 dengue cases for  the period January to June 15, this year.

Dengue is a viral infection transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are four closely related but antigenically different serotypes of the virus that can cause dengue (DEN1, DEN 2, DEN 3, DEN 4).

Dengue has a wide spectrum of infection outcome (asymptomatic to symptomatic). Symptomatic illness can vary from dengue fever (DF) to the more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF).

  • Dengue Fever (DF) – marked by an onset of sudden high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, and pain in muscles and joints. Some may also have a rash and varying degree of bleeding from various parts of the body (including nose, mouth and gums or skin bruising).
  • Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) – is a more severe form, seen only in a small proportion of those infected. DHF is a stereotypic illness characterized by 3 phases; febrile phase with high continuous fever usually lasting for less than 7 days; critical phase (plasma leaking) lasting 1-2 days usually apparent when fever comes down, leading to shock if not detected and treated early; convalescence phase lasting 2-5 days with improvement of appetite, bradycardia (slow heart rate), convalescent rash (white patches in red background), often accompanied by generalized itching (more intense in palms and soles), and diuresis (increase urine output).