Issue of August 11, 2019
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Battle against dengue

The Department of Health-Cordillera confirmed that the number of individuals affected by dengue increased this year.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection that causes flu-like symptoms and can develop potentially fatal form of the disease – dengue hemorrhagic fever.

The DOH intensified its information campaign against dengue but some people disregard the call of the agency. They take the advisories for granted. They will just realize the importance of following the advisories if they or members of their family get infected by the disease.

My son was infected by dengue last month. It was then that I realized that I was lax. I ignored the advisories against dengue. I was once infected by the disease. After the incident, I was very cautious but after several years, I forgot about the trauma. I also failed to observe the safety precautions to protect myself and my family from the disease.

Fighting dengue is not easy. People afflicted by it undergo a long and painful process. They suffer from high fever, muscle pains, abdominal pains, severe headache, vomiting, and nausea. Watching my son get through all of these was really heart breaking.

Doctors reiterate that there is no medicine for dengue but in some countries, papaya leaf extract is now used as a treatment. Scientists of the University of Nottingham’s Malaysia Campus turned papaya extract into a pill to treat dengue patients.

Papaya leaf juice has been used in some areas in India and South East Asia as a treatment for dengue fever. A compound in the juice helps with blood clotting and can restrict the internal bleeding caused by the disease.

If other countries are already using papaya leaf extract as cure for dengue, then, our government should also push Filipino scientists to conduct researches regarding this. Papaya grows abundantly in the Philippines so it wouldn’t be a problem for scientists to study its potential to cure dengue.

The invention of medicine for dengue may still take years. Prevention is the most important step in reducing the risk of dengue infection. It is our responsibility to help eradicate the spread of dengue. Let us strictly follow the 4S campaign of DOH, which stands for search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, secure self protection measures like wearing long pants and long sleeves shirts and daily use of mosquito repellant, seek early consultation, and support fogging/spraying in hot spot areas.

We need to keep our environment clean all the time. Boosting our immune system is also necessary for us to combat diseases not only dengue.

Be vigilant. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are everywhere and they have become more active. You might be their next victim.

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