DOH -CAR data shows that from January 1 to March 4, there were 254 measles suspect cases recorded in the region with 65 laboratory confirmed cases and no measles – related death.
Influenza-like illnesses are also on the rise. DOH – CAR Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit data shows that the 1,862 cases recorded from January 1 to Feb. 16 is up by 22 percent compared to the 1,524 cases recorded during the same period last year.
The same RESU report also showed that typhoid fever cases also increased from 183 to 488 cases, while the dengue suspect cases rose to 957 compared to the 560 cases recorded last year.
DOH – CAR, in its advisory, advises people to build up their body resistance or immunity to fight diseases by having a healthy lifestyle and proper diet and nutrition, have exercise and enough rest and adequate sleep, and avoid vices like cigarette and alcohol.
People are also reminded to practice good hygiene and etiquette such as keeping the surroundings clean, regular hand washing, covering their nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing, and proper food handling and storage.
For those with medical condition, they are also reminded to regularly take their maintenance medicines. Those who are sick or not feeling well are advised to stay at home until they are free of symptoms to prevent the spread of virus.
DOH – CAR Family Health Cluster Head Dr. Anachris Kilakil also stressed that aside from the elderly and those with medical conditions, babies or very young children are also among the vulnerable group, which is why it is very important that are fully immunized for vaccine – preventable diseases.
With the emergence of communicable and infectious diseases, the public especially parents, should also avoid bringing babies into crowded places, Kilakil said. This reminder is very timely especially with the scheduled festivals all over the region this time.
Health personnel are taking the big gatherings as venues to distribute measles and other health information materials.
DOH - CAR health advisories are also aired over radio and published in local papers. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)
By Carlito C. Dar