DOH (Department of Health) released the D.E.N.G.U.E Strategy which aims to help Filipinos fight the life-threatening mosquito-borne disease. This strategy from DOH educate the public on home treatment for mild dengue cases. They also stated that not all cases of dengue requires hospitalization.
D – daily monitoring of patient’s status,
E – encourage intake of oral fluids like oresol, water, juices, etc,
N – note any dengue warning signs like persistent vomiting and bleeding,
G – give paracetamol for fever and NOT aspirin, because aspirin induces bleeding,
U – use mosquito nets and,
E – early consultation is advised for any warning signs
Read the full Press Release from DOH here:
Press Release/1 September 2010
The Department of Health (DOH) today assured that many dengue cases, if mild, can be managed at home and not all cases require hospitalization even as the number of cases nationwide from January to August 21 now rose to 62,503.
This figure is 88.8% higher than last year’s 33,102 for the same period. There were 465 deaths recorded this year. Last year, there were 350 deaths.
“Instead of confining patients in a hospital facility, parents and caregivers can practice the D.E.N.G.U.E. strategy. D.E.N.G.U.E. stands for D – daily monitoring of patient’s status, E – encourage intake of oral fluids like oresol, water, juices, etc, N – note any dengue warning signs like persistent vomiting and bleeding, G – give paracetamol for fever and NOT aspirin, because aspirin induces bleeding, U – use mosquito nets and E – early consultation is advised for any warning signs”, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said.
The new D.E.N.G.U.E. strategy has been devised by the DOH to educate the public on home treatment of mild dengue cases. This is to also help decongest hospitals by giving an assurance that not all dengue cases require hospital confinement but can be managed at home using the said strategy.
Ona also reiterated that the most effective way to prevent and fight dengue is still by practicing the DOH’s 4-S strategy consisting of Search and destroy, Self-protective measures, Seek early treatment and Say no to indiscriminate fogging.
“We are urging all local government units to mobilize barangay dengue brigades in their areas,” Ona explained, adding that a once-a-week community-wide clean up drives against dengue will help a lot in reducing cases. Measures include emptying of all exposed containers and vases, old tires, coconut husks, and plants of stagnant waters. Abandoned lots, houses and establishments should also be included in the search-and-destroy operations because these may have possible mosquito breeding sites.
Ona revealed that most of the cases came from Western Visayas (16.1%), CaLaBarzon (10.9%), Central Mindanao (10.5%), Eastern Visayas (9.2%), National Capital Region (8.9%), Southern Mindanao (8.1%) and Northern Mindanao (7.4%).
Ages of cases ranged from 1 month to 95 years old. Majority (52%) of the cases were male. The most affected age group were the 1-10 years while there were more deaths recorded in the less than one year age group and the 1-10 years age group).
Ona disclosed that outbreaks were detected in Roxas City and Iloilo City in Region VI and Zamboanga City in Region IX.
The health chief explained that a hotspot is defined as clustering of cases with increasing number in the past four weeks. Hotspots were observed in the several barangays in the following areas: Lipa City and San Jose in Batangas (Region 4A); Puerto Princesa City in Palawan (Region 4B); Kalibo, Aklan (Region VI); Tagbilaran City, Bohol (Region VII); Pudtol, Apayao (CAR) and ; Kalookan and Valenzuela in NCR.
On the other hand, clustering of cases occur when there are three or more cases in a barangay in the past four weeks. Clustering of cases was noted in many areas in different Regions of the country.
At the National Capital Region, most of the cases were reported from Quezon City.
“The increase in dengue cases can be attributed to the presence of four different strains of the dengue virus circulating in the country today, plus the fact that the country is experiencing the El Niño phenomenon,” Ona elaborated, adding that continuous rains is also responsible for the upsurge in cases.
To more strongly respond to the increasing number of dengue cases, the DOH has ramped up efforts in its public education and information campaign to schools and barangays since July in coordination with its regional health offices and other concerned government agencies such as the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Secretary Ona has also reiterated the directive to activate all dengue express lanes in DOH and to network with regional and provincial blood centers where patients can access safe and clean blood for transfusion in severe cases.
“There is still no cure or vaccine for dengue and that is why we must focus on other cost-effective interventions, the most important of which is source reduction — destroy the dengue-carrying mosquitoes,” Ona emphasized.
The health department is currently looking into other potential strategies to combat dengue such as the use of vaccines against all four dengue strains, the genetic modification of the Aedes mosquitoes which will render them less active in biting victims and even local alternatives such as the use of “Tawa-tawa”, a local herb that is being investigated for its curative properties against dengue.
“We are on the lookout for the emerging science and trends concerning dengue which can help us to more effectively fight the disease in the future,” says Ona. “Meanwhile, we are doing everything we can to arm the public with information and respond to the medical needs of victims given the tools that are currently available to us,” he added.
Ona reminded the public that dengue, although an all-year round disease, is more common during rainy days when there are more potential breeding grounds for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. To prevent dengue, Ona advised the public to destroy all possible mosquito breeding sites like old tires, softdrink bottles and tin cans, and use mosquito nets or protective clothing. He also stressed that fogging may be done only in outbreak areas.