Filipinos warned vs. rainy season diseases

2024 May 23

HAPPY BUNCH. Heavy downpour and the subsequent flooding translate to peak happiness for these children in Tondo, Manila on Oct. 22, 2023. Infectious disease expert and Philippine College of Physicians president Rontgene Solante on Thursday (May 23, 2024) said leptospirosis dengue cases are expected to rise as the weather shifts from summer to rainy season

MANILA – A health expert on Thursday warned Filipinos against rainy season infections like dengue and leptospirosis, as the weather shifts from summer to rainy season.

“Iyong tubig-baha, kontaminado iyan doon sa ihi ng daga wherein you have the leptospirosis. Maliban diyan ay nandoon pa rin iyong dengue, kasi nga ang dengue naman wala namang pinipiling buwan iyan, year-round ang dengue nandoon talaga iyan (Flood water is contaminated with rat urine wherein you have the leptospirosis. There’s also dengue which occurs year-round, no specific months,” Philippine College of Physicians president Rontgene Solante said in a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon interview.

Solante, an infectious disease expert, said dengue cases usually rise in highly urbanized areas like Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and Cebu.

“These are the hotspots we monitor every now and then, even with summer then shift immediately to rainy season. The shifting of weather, that is when mosquitoes are disturbed, they come out and reproduce quickly and people are more at risk for dengue,” he said.

Dengue is caused by a virus that mosquitoes spread to people. Its symptoms include high fever (40°C), severe headache, muscle and joint pains, nausea, rashes, pain behind the eyes, vomiting, and swollen glands.

On Monday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that the dengue cases dropped to 5,211 on April 7 to 20 from 5,380 on March 24 to April 6.

A total of 59,267 dengue cases with 164 deaths have been recorded from Jan. 1 to May 4 this year.

Solante also warned everyone against Chikungunya and Zika infection which is caused by the same mosquito spreading Dengue.

Respiratory tract infections like Covid-19, pneumonia, and influenza are also common during rainy season.

“Mayroon tayong bago ngayon, iyong respiratory syncytial virus na puwede ring maka-cause ng severe pneumonia especially doon sa mga may edad (There’s a new one, the respiratory syncytial virus which can cause severe pneumonia especially among the elderly),” he said.

He added animal bite cases are increasing in San Lazaro Hospital and the public must be highly informed about free jabs available for this vaccine-preventable disease.

Earlier, the San Lazaro Hospital said it handled some 3,000 patients daily for anti-rabies vaccinations.

The DOH recorded 89 human rabies cases, which all resulted in deaths from Jan.1 to March 16, 2024.

Ma. Teresa Montemayor (PNA)