Massive campaign vs. dengue launched

LEGAZPI CITY—The prevailing wet season is moving health authorities in Bicol’s prime tourism city to address dengue resurgence even before the mosquito-borne disease could do harm to the locality.

“We have been implementing preemptive measures after typhoon ‘Glenda’ hit the city with strong winds and heavy rains last July 15,” City Health Office (CHO) chief Dr. Fulbert Alec Gillego on Monday told the Philippine News Agency here.

Among these measures, Gillego said, is the clean-up activities that include to clearing of clogged canals, esteros and other places where water is stored and serve as breeding grounds for dengue virus-carrying mosquitoes.

This clean-up drive is being initiated by community volunteers in all the 70 barangays of the city and during weekends, by city hall employees who have organized themselves in to a clean-up brigade going around rural barangays, doing the cleaning themselves and advising communities to dispose their household waste properly to prevent drainage clogging, he said.

“We have also strengthened our information and education campaign on dengue, particularly on prevention in communities and schools with the help of barangay health workers (BHWs) who conduct house-to-house and classroom-to-classroom visitations,” Gillego said.

Mosquito source-reduction activities -- such as the application of larvicide in potential breeding sites and eradication of adult mosquitoes through contact spraying using Aqua resigen -- have also been set in place in barangays where dengue mosquitoes are detected through surveillance activities initiated by CHO field personnel, he said.

Dengue infection is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.
They usually surface after a rainfall or during the wet season when stagnant water accumulated in clogged canals and other shallow waterways make for excellent breeding grounds.

Discarded containers such as coconut shells, empty bottles and tin cans, flower vases and salvaged used tires are other dengue mosquito breeding places when left unattended, Gillego explained. —by Danny Calleja (PNA)

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