The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) reminded the public to take extra precautions these monsoon months as waterborne diseases like influenza, leptospirosis and dengue spread easily.
The PRC has distributed communication materials and conducted house to house visits and health seminars to intensify its awareness campaign on leptospirosis and dengue.
“PRC’s 104 Chapters are all set, as are the staff and volunteers to organize health campaigns to raise awareness of the health hazards brought by the rainy season. These campaigns are always done in coordination with the local health centers and offices,” PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said.
“Let’s observe proper personal hygiene and keep our surroundings clean to steer away from these diseases,” Gordon added.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross’ pool of community volunteers, known as 143 volunteers, are tasked to report directly to the chapters in case of verified outbreaks. The PRC has sufficient supply of blood in its 93 blood centers nationwide to cater to the people in case there will be an outbreak of dengue, leptospirosis, or other diseases.
Residents are encouraged to clean their surroundings especially possible breeding places of mosquitoes to avoid being infected with the dengue virus.
Suspected dengue symptoms are: high fever (40 degrees Celsius / 104 degrees Fahrenheit), skin rashes, severe headache, muscle and joint pains, nausea, and swollen glands. The next 24-48 hours with these symptoms are fatal. Proper medical care and attention are needed to avoid complications and death.
Leptospirosis can enter the body through open wounds, the eyes, or mucous membranes. Humans become infected through direct contact from the urine of infected animals like rodents.
Symptoms are high fever, chills, headache, jaundice, diarrhea, fatigue, sore throat, joint and muscle pains, rashes, reddish eyes, and abdominal pains to Weil’s disease with organ dysfunction. Immediate medical attention is advised.People wading through flood waters are at a high risk of contracting this disease.
The general public is urged not to swim or dabble in flood water; use protection like umbrellas, raincoats,boots and gloves; boil tap water before drinking; drink fruit juices and plenty of water; get enough sleep; and drink vitamin C to boost the immune system.
It is also advisable to wear pajamas, long pants and long sleeves to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Strong insect-repellant lotion should also be applied to keep mosquitoes away.