Sunday, September 24, 2006

Dengue Alert!

The year was 1997, I was a first year pediatric resident back then. We were forced to go on 24 hours duty every other day because Dengue, an acute febrile illness caused by a virus transmitted by a day biting mosquito, reached epidemic proportions. All hospitals in Metro Manila were packed with patients, old and young, poor and rich.

It seems that the 3 year periodic boom in the rise of Dengue cases is still in effect. Endemics of Dengue were also recorded in 2000, 2003. Today, according to the Philippines' Department of Health, more than 1,500 new cases of Dengue and about 21 deaths related to this disease were recorded in the past week.

Again, nobody is to be blamed for the rise in Dengue but the citizenry itself. Our country is very DIRTY, plain and simple. Aedes Aegypti, the mosquito vector of Dengue breed in places were water stagnates. Cleanliness in our homes and communities plays a big role in preventing the breeding and spread of the deadly Dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

We should have not allowed Dengue to reached endemic proportions again, let us not rely on the government or other people to clean our surroundings. It is our responsibility to clean and take care of the environment. Maybe Dengue is one way of how mother earth is telling us Filipinos, "hey! do your share in protecting me."

It all boils down to what we Filipinos lack, DISCIPLINE. When will we learn? In 2008 perhaps? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, let us all act now and start cleaning before it's too late.


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