Tuesday, February 9, 2016

4S key to avoid Zika virus – DOH official
By Connie Destura

LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 6 (PNA) -- The Department of Health Bicol Regional Office is reminding the public to remember and practice the ‘4S’ against dengue, thereby preventing Zika virus incidence as both are transmitted by the same Aedes aegypti mosquito.

The 4S is a strategy which means: (1) Search and destroy mosquito breeding places, (2) Self-protection measures, (3) Seek early consultation for fever lasting more than two days, and (4) Say “yes” to fogging when there is an impending outbreak.

“We should not worry or panic. Zika virus is similar to dengue and chikungunya which our community is knowledgeable on preventing,” said DOH Regional Director Napoleon L. Arevalo.

Zika virus, Arevalo said, is a mosquito-borne disease that can be controlled and prevented when “we practice 4S in our everyday living. The first step to prevent the disease is within our own homes.”

He asked the public to make sure to eliminate all possible breeding grounds of mosquitoes like bottles, tires, flower vase, and anything that can hold stagnant water.

“We should not give them a chance to multiply because the disease they carry will put our health at risk,” he explained, saying, “In addition we can wear long-sleeved shirt, pants and long socks, applying insect repellent lotion, or use mosquito nets when sleeping. The practice of 4S will not only benefit your family but also the entire community.”

The common symptoms of Zika virus disease are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (sore eyes).

Other symptoms may include muscle pain, headache, and vomiting.

The illness is usually mild, with the symptoms lasting from several days to a week.

Some cases do not manifest any symptom and cases of pregnant women affected with Zika virus who gave birth to babies with microcephaly is yet to be proven, Arevalo said.

Currently, there is no available vaccine to prevent Zika virus, he said.

However, the health official said, the symptoms of Zika virus disease can be managed with common pain and fever medicines like paracetamol, rest, plenty of water and nutritious diet.

If symptoms continue to occur beyond two days, he advised the public to consult the nearest health facility.

The said disease has been recently a media highlight when the World Health Organization announced it as a Public Health Emergency of International concern on Feb. 1.

In the Philippines, a documented case of Zika virus infection was traced in Cebu City in 2012.

The affected 15-year-old boy recovered fully after three weeks of continuous bed rest and medication.

After yielding negative results in tests on dengue and Chikungunya, he was tested positive for Zika Virus.

Fortunately, there had not been any case detected since then.

Arevalo reiterated that the public should be vigilant and ready should the disease affect the locality by having a commitment in practicing the 4S and having the community engage in the Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue (ABKD) strategy.

“Indeed, our health begins in our own backyards,” the DOH official said. (PNA) RMA/FGS/CBD/ssc