The Department of Health (DOH) is warning the public to be aware on the possible outbreak of water and foodborne illnesses, influenza-like illnesses, leptospirosis and dengue (WILD) in the aftermath of the typhoons that recently struck the country.
And with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic still persisting, the DOH also reiterated the need to continually observe health protocols, especially in evacuation centers, to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses caused widespread flooding and destruction that prompted evacuation in several parts of Luzon. Recognizing the health hazards present in the affected areas, the DOH has alerted its Centers for Health Development to continuously monitor the possible spread of WILD diseases, together with concerned local government units (LGUs) and their respective communities,” the DOH said in a statement.
“Rest assured that we at DOH, of course with the support of our LGUs, are doing the best that we can to prevent or control possible outbreaks,” it added.
According to DOH’s epidemiological analysis, influenza season in the country peaks in July and October, coinciding with the onset of the rainy season as the weather transitions from increased heat and high humidity in the summer to the wet and damp weather conditions.
Meanwhile, the stagnant water due to flooding provides mosquitoes a chance to breed and multiply. Floodwaters may also contain leptospira bacteria that causes the dreaded leptospirosis.
The DOH also noted that the interruption of safe water supply and sanitation due to flooding may cause water and food contamination, which can cause other diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, amoebiasis, hepatitis A and acute gastroenteritis.
Thus, the DOH also highlighted the importance of having heightened vigilance in evacuation centers.
DOH Department Memorandum No. 2020-0318, or the interim guidelines on the prevention and control of Covid-19 during emergency evacuations, mandates the screening, triage and evaluation of evacuees in managing evacuation centers. JONATHAN ARACELI FOR SOVEREIGNPH