Red Cross warns public of waterborne infectious diseases

Published July 12, 2019, 7:26 PM

by Rica Arevalo

By Jel Santos

Take extra precautions as waterborne infectious diseases are easily spread during the wet season, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has advised the public.

Senator Richard Gordon ( Jansen Romero / File | Manila Bulletin)
PRC Chairman and Senator Richard Gordon (JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

PRC Chairman Richard Gordon said they have already coordinated with local governments in their information drive about the health hazards brought by the wet season.

“PRC’s 104 Chapters are all set, as are the staff and volunteers to organize health campaigns to raise awareness of the health hazards brought by the rainy season. These campaigns are always done in coordination with the local health centers and offices,” he said.

Gordon urged residents to clean their surroundings, especially possible breeding places of mosquitoes to prevent dengue virus infection.

According to the PRC, dengue symptoms include high fever (40 degrees Celsius or 104 degrees Fahrenheit), skin rashes, severe headache, muscle, and joint pains, nausea, and swollen glands. “The next 24 to 48 hours with these symptoms are fatal. Proper medical care and attention are needed to avoid complications and death.”

Leptospirosis, meanwhile, can enter the body through open wounds, the eyes, or mucous membranes.

“Humans become infected through direct contact from the urine of infected animals like rodents. Symptoms are high fever, chills, headache, jaundice, diarrhea, fatigue, sore throat, joint and muscle pains, rashes, reddish eyes, and abdominal pains to Weil’s disease with organ dysfunction. Immediate medical attention is advised,” the humanitarian organization said in a statement.

“People wading through floodwaters are at a high risk of contracting this disease.”

The public was reminded to always use protection like umbrellas, raincoats, boots, and gloves.

Also, people should wear pajamas, long pants, and long sleeves to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. “Strong insect-repellant lotion should also be applied to keep mosquitoes away.”

Gordon said that people must observe proper personal hygiene and keep their surroundings clean to steer away from the said diseases.