Tag Archives: department of health

Health Advisory on ZIKA VIRUS


Key facts

• Zika virus infection is a mosquito-borne disease caused by a flavivirus. This occurs in tropical countries with large mosquito population.

• Zika virus is transmitted to people through the bite of an infected mosquito from the Aedes genus, mainly Aedes aegypti in urban areas and Aedes albopictus in rural areas.
• Aedes bite aggressively during the day.
• This is the same mosquito that transmits Dengue and Chikungunya.
• Zika virus can also be transmitted through sex carrying Zika virus unprotected.
• Zika virus has been detected in blood, urine, amniotic fluids, semen, saliva as well as body fluids found in the brain and spinal cord.

Signs and Symptoms

• Common symptoms include fever, conjunctivitis, and skin rash.
• Other symptoms include headache, muscle pain, joint pain, pain behind the eyes, and vomiting.
• The illness is usually mild and self-limiting with symptoms lasting for 2-7 days.

• Neurological type of complication: Guillain-Barre’ syndrome which is the sudden weakening of muscles.
• Neonatal malformation: Microcephaly which is a condition where a baby’s head is smaller than those of other babies of the same age and sex.

Prevention and Treatment
• Avoid infection by preventing mosquito bites.
• Use insect repellants.
• Use window and door screens.
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants or permethrin-treated clothing.
• Once a week, empty and scrub, turn over, cover, or throw out items that hold water such as tires, buckets, planters, toys, or trash containers.
• People sick with Zika virus should get plenty of rest, drink enough fluids and treat pain and fever with common medicines.
• People with signs and symptoms of Zika virus infection should undergo diagnostic test (serology)
• If symptoms persists, they should seek medical care and advice immediately to the nearest health facility.

How is ZIKA, CHIKUNGUNYA and DENGUE infection prevented?

Search and Destroy

Cover the drums, pails, and other waste containers at all times
Clean and replace the water in flower vases once a week
Cover the holes around the house with soil or sand
Remove or pierce old tires that are being used as roof supports, also those tires placed around the house that might hold water.
Flip-over empty bottles, jars, tin cans and other items that can collect and hold water
Clean and remove water on dish racks and other household items that can hold water


Use mosquito repellants to avoid mosquito bites
Use mosquito nets when sleeping at daytime
Wear long sleeves or clothes that will protect your skin from mosquito bites


Seek and consult with the nearest health facility if you already have fever fro two days

Fogging should be done when there is an impending and during outbreaks


Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever

Aedes aegypti or tiger mosquito – low-flying, day-biting, lurks in dark places of the house, lays eggs on clean and stagnant water


The D.E.N.G.U.E. Strategy

D – daily monitoring of patient’s status
E – encourage intake of oral fluids like oresol, water, juices, etc,
N – note any dengue warning signs like persistent vomiting and bleeding,
G – give paracetamol for fever and NOT aspirin, because aspirin induces bleeding,
U – use mosquito nets and
E – early consultation is advised for any warning signs

From DOH website:

DENGUE HEMORRHAGIC FEVER is an acute infectious disease manifested initially with fever.


Aedes aegypti, the transmitter of the disease, is a day-biting mosquito which lays eggs in clear and stagnant water found in flower vases, cans, rain barrels, old rubber tires, etc. The adult mosquitoes rest in dark places of the house.

Signs and Symptoms

  1. Sudden onset of high fever which may last 2 to 7 days.
  2. Joint & muscle pain and pain behind the eyes.
  3. Weakness
  4. Skin rashes – maculopapular rash or red tiny spots on the skin called petechiae
  5. Nosebleeding when fever starts to subside
  6. Abdominal pain
  7. Vomiting of coffee-colored matter
  8. Dark-colored stools

Prevention and Control

  1. Cover water drums and water pails at all times to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.
  2. Replace water in flower vases once a week.
  3. Clean all water containers once a week. Scrub the sides well to remove eggs of mosquitoes sticking to the sides.
  4. Clean gutters of leaves and debris so that rain water will not collect as breeding places of mosquitoes.
  5. Old tires used as roof support should be punctured or cut to avoid accumulation of water.
  6. Collect and dispose all unusable tin cans, jars, bottles and other items that can collect and hold water.


A vaccine said to prevent or cure the four strains of dengue is currently being tested in pilot areas in Laguna and Cebu. The vaccine will be available in 2014.

Nostalgia: Some Achievement

Third place, 5th AIDS Media Awards for Best News Feature on Print.With former Health Secretary Manolet Dayrit and Dr. Carlos Calica, former president of the AIDS Society of the Philippines.

This is one of the few recognitions I received when I was working. The award doesn’t mean I write so well, but it was the impact of the published story that got the attention of judges. Sa totoo lang, I owe it to my editors, they were the ones who really made the article worthwhile to read.  However, ‘di naman din gaganda ang story kundi kumpleto ang detalye. That’s the secret of my hard work. 🙂

My share for Nostalgia.