Health authorities in Baras town have started implementing protocols against dengue and typhoid after a clustering of suspected cases was noted in several barangays, including 26 suspect typhoid cases just in the month of August.
In an interview with the Tribune last Friday (Aug. 26, 2022), Municipal Health Officer DR. Ariel Acompañado confirmed that the town has recorded a total of 15 suspect dengue cases in nine barangays since Jan. 1, 2022: four in Osmeña, three in Moning, two in Agban and one each in Tilod, San Lorenzo, Western Poblacion, Sagrada and Genitligan.
On the other hand, the 26 suspect typhoid cases are from the following barangays: Tilod (10), Moning (8), Osmeña (3), Sagrada (3), Salvacion (1) and Eastern Poblacion (1).
Thankfully, Dr. Acompañado said that no deaths from the two diseases have been recorded so far.
He disclosed that upon noting the clustering of two or more cases in the barangays, the Local Health Board chaired by Mayor Jose Paolo Teves III immediately convened to discuss the reports and implement appropriate measures.
The doctor, however, clarified that the appropriate laboratory tests will have to be done to confirm that the cases are indeed that of dengue and typhoid fever.
He said that those who suffer from fever usually go straight to Eastern Bicol Medical Center or the Bato Maternity and Children’s Hospital but some of those who go to our facility are automatically given medical attention.
To prevent a rise in dengue cases, the municipal government through the Rural Health Unit and the barangays applied the Enhanced 4-S campaign, which stands for Search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites; secure Self-protection measures like wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts and daily use of mosquito repellent; Seek early consultation; and Support fogging/spraying only in hotspot areas where increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak.
Dengue is transmitted through a bite of dengue-infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the Department of Health said.
These mosquitoes can lay eggs in any space or container that holds clear and stagnant water like a bottle cap, dish dryer, plant axil, gutter, trash can, old rubber tires, among others.
They usually bite between 2 hours after sunrise and 2 hours before sunset and can be found inside and outside the house.
The period of the drop in bodily temperature between 3-6 days of infection marks the transition of the disease from mild to more serious categories., the DOH said.
Symptoms of dengue include sudden onset of fever of 2 to 7 days, plus two of the following: headache, body weakness, joint and muscle pains, pain behind the eyes, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, and skin rashes.
It is important to seek early consultation between 1-3 days of fever to immediately recognize the disease, which may require the patient to increase fluid intake, especially Oral Rehydration Solution that is proven to be life saving for dengue patients, it added.
On the suspect typhoid cases, Dr. Acompañado bared that an advisory has been issued to residents of affected barangays to boil their drinking water and thoroughly wash and cook food well.
Some residents who suffered from typhoid claimed that they got the infection from water bought from refilling stations but the MHO said all tests conducted at the water stations came back with negative results.
The health office also distributed chlorine granules for use in chlorinating the drinking water and asked the Baras Water District to adjust the chlorine dosage at the intake tank in Batolinao to make sure it is not contaminated.
Typhoid fever is caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria and is transmitted through the ingestion of food and water contaminated with human waste.
A person sick with the disease usually suffers from sustained high fever, headache, malaise (weakness), anorexia (loss of appetite), diarrhea or constipation, and abdominal discomfort.
To prevent and control the disease, the DOH advised residents to boil water for drinking, extending the boiling for two or more minutes; do water chlorination; cook food well and always use food cover to prevent flies and other insects from contaminating them; sash thoroughly all vegetables and fruits especially those that are eaten raw; avoid eating street food; wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet and before eating; and keep the surroundings clean to prevent breeding of flies.
Those suffering from the symptoms must be brought to the nearest hospital for immediate treatment, with the only effective treatment the administration of antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin for non-pregnant adults and ceftriaxone for pregnant patients.
Those stricken must also be given plenty of water to rehydrate.