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Today in Health & Wellness
HEALTH HINTS

The D’s of Dengue

By: Adrielle AustriaThe D’s of Dengue

The proliferation of diseases during the rainy season has always been a cause for public concern. It’s not uncommon to hear people complain about their body going haywire as the chillier weather sets in and the sky casts its rain spell. It’s as if the sudden shift in temperature acts as a green light for certain illnesses to wage a war against our immune system and threaten our health in general. And of the health hazards that flow like rain during this season, it’s dengue that reigns supreme.

Dengue fever remains as one of the most commonly transmissible diseases in the Philippines. And the number of denguefever cases tend to rise during the rainy season. Fortunately, the Department of Health (DOH) is continuously researching and implementing strategies to combat dengue.  Their most recent campaign involves the latest science that pushes dengue prevention even further by immunization. Yes, the world’s first dengue vaccine is finally approved and is now commercially available in the Philippines.

Prevention will always be better than cure, and it should always be the first step against disease.  This should also hold true for all other transmissible diseases.  Here are some helpful do’s and don’ts when it comes to dengue management and prevention:

Prevention

  • DO use mosquito repellants such as creams, mats or coils. You may also install screens on your windows to prevent mosquitoes from getting inside your home.
  • DO eliminate mosquito breeding sites where water can accumulate such as in old tires, water tanks, and plastic containers. Also regularly clean your water storage containers.
  • DON’T keep water containers open.  These may serve as breeding grounds. 
  • DO maintain cleanliness of the surroundings by throwing away garbage regularly, cleaning out flower pots, and throwing away dead plants.
  • DO wear protective clothing like long sleeves, pants, and socks.

Management

  • DON’T take aspirin, ibuprofen or other types of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as these are blood thinners and may cause further bleeding.
  • DO eat immunity-boosting foods.  Dengue causes fatigue so make sure to eat light but nutritious food especially fruits rich in vitamin C to help your body recover faster.
  • DON’T take antibiotics. Dengue is caused by a virus and not a bacteria.
  • DON’T self-medicate because dengue can be fatal.  
  • DO prevent dehydration which may result from loss of fluid from high fever, vomiting, or poor fluid intake. Drink plenty of water to compensate for the loss.
  • DO take maximum bed rest and avoid physical exertion.
  • DON’T delay treatment. If dengue symptoms occur such as a headache, muscle or joint pain, nausea, red spots on your skin and fever that goes on for days, consult your doctor immediately. Do not wait for all the symptoms to manifest. As with all diseases, early treatment is always recommended.

While the rainy season has its own magic—it’s not called bed weather for nothing— still it’s best to guard ourselves against the health-related risks that come with it. Awareness is the first step to disease prevention. Taking the necessary precautions will not only save your life, it can also save you from tons of medical bills in the future.   Always keep these do’s and don’ts in mind in cases of dengue outbreak and remember to always consult your doctor if symptoms arise.  

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