As the rainy season projected to start the following week, the Department of Health (DOH) on Friday, June 7, cautioned the public against certain illnesses.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement it is imperative for the public to be prepared for rainy season diseases such as diarrhea, typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis as well as malaria, and dengue.
“It is best to arm ourselves with weapons against these diseases even before the onset of the rainy season by building a strong resistance against these illnesses and practicing personal hygiene and environmental sanitation,” stated Duque.
Diarrhea is an increase in the frequency of loose or liquid bowel movements usually caused by a variety of bacterial, viral, and parasitic organisms.
Typhoid fever is an infectious disease commonly spread through contaminated food and water or through close contact with someone who is infected.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by food or water contaminated with the bacteria known as Vibrio cholera, and causes watery diarrhea that can lead to severe dehydration and death.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection transmitted by many animals, such as rodents and other vermin as their urine and feces contaminate the soil, water, and vegetation, especially during floods.
Dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever are acute viral infections that are caused by the bite of the dengue-carrying mosquito.
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans.
The DOH stated diarrhea, typhoid fever, and cholera are all food- and water-borne diseases that can be prevented by drinking water only from safe sources or those boiled for three minutes or underwent water chlorination.
Likewise, the public is advised to cook food well and always have it covered to prevent contamination from flies and other insects.
Lastly, the DOH stated people should always wash hands before preparing or handling food and after using the toilet.
The public is advised to avoid swimming or wading in potentially contaminated flood waters to prevent acquiring leptospirosis, and maintain cleanliness in the house to ensure control of rodents or rats.
Dengue can be avoided by practicing the 4-S against the disease, which stands for search and destroy, self-protection measures, seek early consultation, and say yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak or hotspot.
DOH states that malaria can be avoided by using long lasting insecticidal mosquito nets, especially during nighttime, and by following the advice of health workers on how to take anti-malaria drugs.
Prior, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the rainy season is expected to start in the first half of June.