The wet season of the tropics has now come and the resilience of the Filipinos is again tested this year. The onset of frequent rains signals a start for a number of dengue cases to rise. The coming and going of typhoons bringing about occasional flooding has a big impact in promoting the spread of the Dengue virus or better yet promoting the growth and propagation of its infamous vector. But no worries, this serious problem has a simple, definite solution and its success relies on the people of the community.
Before we go on and talk about prevention let us first shed a light on what is Dengue.
Dengue is an infection caused by the dengue virus that is contracted through a bite from an infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito. When bitten, the estimated incubation period is from 3 to 14 days and after that the person will expect to manifest a range of flu-like signs and symptoms. These s/s are the usual headache, severe joint and muscle pain, a rash accompanied by a sudden onset fever and sometimes with lymphadenopathy (swollen lymph nodes). The disease is also termed as the “break bone fever” attributed to one of its symptom of myalgia and comparing such sensation to breaking bones.
So how do we go about preventing Dengue fever? The DOH has devised easily memorable ways to fight dengue and that is through the 4 o’clock habit.
4 o’clock habit: STOP, LOOK and LISTEN
At 4:00 pm sharp always,
STOP- means to stop what you are doing either work or during class and concentrate on the task of performing mosquito control methods
LOOK- means to look into searching and destroying possible breeding sites for mosquitoes
LISTEN- means to listen to instructions from work supervisors, barangay officials or any local authorities so that implementation of the habit is synchronous. Also listen to updates on the current dengue status in your respective communities.
and lastly to join the “Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue” activity
HERE ARE SOME FUN MOSQUITO CONTROL ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO:
• CLEAN UP YOUR ACT!
If you haven’t realized that there is so much junk piled on your front or backyard, then it’s high time to snap back and move those muscles. Stop lazing around and wait for the junk to pick themselves up for you cause they won’t. Start with picking those cans, bottles, plastic bags, heaps of leaves and other empty containers that can possibly contain and accumulate water. Unused tires are the most popular breeding sites of mosquitoes so don’t allow these things to have water in them. With this, the benefits are double edge because aside from being able to declutter your yard you can sell all the junk you can find. Clever idea right?!
• WATER IS LIFE!
Essentially water brings about the “life”. Mosquitoes especially the species that harbors the dengue virus mind you will only breed in fresh clean water. Now we know that mosquitoes have all the time to be picky little insects. Furthermore, the idea here is to drain receptacles with stagnant water or covering open water containers so mosquitoes will not make them as their breeding site. Change the water in your plant trays or vases once a week to throw possible wrigglers and mosquito eggs that have harbored the water. If you instantly see larva squirming in the water I think you already know what to do. Show no mercy!!!
• SPRAY IT AWAY!
Imagine yourself being a killing machine with a can of noxious gas. Indulge in a killing spree with mosquitoes and save humankind or as of now yourself.
• PRACTICE YOUR FARMVILLE SKILLS IN REAL LIFE
At long last! something that you can do with gusto. You can grow plants that are able to repel mosquitoes. These plants can be the following: citronella grass, rosemary, catnip and marigolds. Who would have known that such plants can help drive away those pesky little bloodsuckers. In addition, you should also mow your lawn to cut all those tall grasses that serve as hiding and resting place for mosquitoes. Tall grass may also hide clean puddles of water. So plant away and mow your lawn!
As of this date, the disease has plagued a total of 42,207 and claimed the lives of 193 people and this is according to the National Epidemiology Center’s report recorded from the period of January 1- June 8, 2013. Most of the Dengue cases that were recorded in the Philippines came from Central Visayas, CALABARZON, Western Visayas, and SOCKSARGEN. With these statistics at hand, i think now is the most opportune time to gear up and encourage the community to increase its efforts in eradicating Dengue.