Dengue scare in Davao Region
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan has passed a resolution declaring the Province of Davao del Sur in a state of calamity due to the continued rise in dengue cases in the Province.
“A total of 600 dengue cases have been noted in the province with Digos City on top of the list,” Davao del Sur provincial information officer Nilda Aniñon said during a press conference held at the Philippine Information Agency two weeks ago.
Aniñon said this is followed by Bansalan with 95 dengue cases, Sta. Cruz with 52 dengue cases and Malalag with 26 dengue cases. Dengue has also claimed the lives of 14 people from the Province, majority are from Digos City.
Expected to follow said declaration last Friday is Digos City, with 10 lives in the city already claimed by dengue. Digos City Mayor Joseph Peñas said the dengue cases in the city have reached an alarming level and the local government has to act now to prevent further deaths.
Davao City has not been spared from dengue cases, with 14 deaths due to dengue registered in the city for the first half of the year. While reports from the City Health Office shows a decrease in the number of dengue cases in the city from 1,690 in January to June 2009 to 1,130 dengue cases for the same period this year.
Davao City has the most number of dengue cases in Southern Mindanao, followed by Davao del Norte with only 220 dengue cases. Health officials here however said the higher number of dengue cases in the city can be attributed to the larger population of the city and the accessibility of health institutions in the city which makes it easy for the public to report an infection.
While the term dengue used to have an evil connotation no thanks to the word itself which was based on the phrase “Ki denga pepo” from Swahili which means an evil spirit cased cramp-like seizure, there is really nothing un-spiritual about dengue.
The culprit has been identified as the Aedes aegypti mosquito which usually bites during the early part of the day. While it is not contagious, a person infected by the dengue virus can also become a source once bitten by a mosquito.
A person bitten by the carrier mosquito can develop a fever within 6 days after the transmission of the virus. Among the symptoms are headaches, nausea and vomiting, high-grade fever,, rashes on the skin and even nose or gum bleeding. However, it is important to have the patient diagnosed for dengue through a blood test the soonest possible time.
One of the best ways to prevent dengue is to clean the surroundings, ridding your environment of plants , old bottles and rubber tires that can serve as habitats for mosquitoes.
However, those who want to be assured of more protection opt for mosquito repellents with DEET or Diethymetatoluamide. While it does not kill mosquitos and other insects per se, DEET can prevent mosquito bites.
DEET works by masking the smell of carbon dioxide usually given off by the human skin. And since insects hunt for their meal by following the scent of carbon dioxide, DEET fools the mosquitos into getting their bite elsewhere.
Insect repellents like OFF Lotion can however be highly priced at about P30 for the smallest tube and P120 for the largest repellent.
Enterprising companies (like Johnson & Sons, Inc—the company behind OFF Lotion) have also started selling anti-mosquito candles like the Citronella Bucket to give people more options when it comes to protecting themselves from mosquitos and in effect from dengue.
The anti-mosquito candle is not only protective, but it can also provide a more relaxing atmosphere. The wax can burn for up to 50 hours. You can also get the traditional anti-mosquito coil for a cheaper option.
You can also go for the natural way of preventing mosquito bite sand that is through the use of the oil of lemon eucalyptus, which is derived from plants.
But if you want the age-old method of protecting yourself from mosquitos, the use of mosquito net which is very affordable at P100 to P300 depending on its size, is perhaps the best option for the bedroom