Via the Philippine Information Agency: World Health Organization leads campaign vs. dengue in Yolanda affected areas in East Visayas. Excerpt:
The World Health Organization cautioned the public on the likelihood of a dengue outbreak in the Yolanda affected areas in the country.
Ms. Aphaluck Bhatiasevi of the WHO Communication Team said the possibility is due to several factors such as containers of water and debris accumulating rain water which may become breeding grounds for dengue-causing mosquitoes like Aedes aegypti that breed in clear stagnant waters.
Another factor is that the people displaced by Haiyan/Yolanda are could be more vulnerable because their homes have been destroyed and they are living in in tents and temporary shelters, with less protection from mosquito bites.
Moreover, the public health infrastructure has been compromised with destruction of many health care facilities and sub-optimal access to water, electricity, internet, etc.
Should a suspected case of dengue be reported, WHO recommends fogging twice a week for at least two weeks in and around the area within a radius of up to 200 meters, where the patient possibly acquired infection which is not always the residence, and the health center where the patient sought treatment.
Under the current circumstances in the typhoon affected areas, Bhatiasevi said it is extremely difficult to eradicate all the Aedes and other mosquitoes, and their breeding sites.
In order to prevent Aedes mosquito breeding grounds, water containers should be covered or made mosquito proof, WHO said.
Dengue-causing mosquitoes bite predominantly during daytime (morning between 6.30 – 8.30 hours and afternoon between 17.00 – 19.00 hours.
Clean-up campaigns should be promoted to avoid mosquito breeding as much as possible. Individuals are recommended to use topical and/or spatial repellants for personal protection especially if they are outdoors during the above mentioned times.
Focal fogging around evacuation centers and health facilities may be done as a preventive measure, in areas where no dengue case has been detected.
The DOH, with assistance from WHO and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine has introduced rapid tests for dengue in selected health facilities as part of dengue outbreak surveillance in Region 8. With this proactive surveillance in place, there is a likelihood that more cases will be detected and reported, compared to the routine surveillance.