Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Series

Posted on: Aug 24, 2017

In line with the school’s commitment of producing socially aware and responsible individuals, the Medical Team does its part by regularly bringing into the awareness of the community current events in our country that may impact our students’ health and their family.  On top of this, we try to educate you through health bulletins such as this.

Our country is currently facing an urgent issue of the avian flu (bird flu) wherein almost 500,000 of our fowls need to be eliminated in order to control the spread.  The Department of Agriculture and Department of Health have both released statements clarifying that the viral strain that caused this epidemic infects birds alone and bird-to-human transmission has not been observed.  They further emphasized that the strain is different from the avian flu that afflicted Hong Kong in the recent past.  In line with this they reassured the public that eating well-cooked poultry products, such as chicken and egg, continues to be safe.   

In our local community of Binangonan, what is more important for us to be prepared for is the regular flu or Influenza (trangkaso).  This is commonly caused by Influenza A and B virus and gives rise to symptoms of colds, cough, fever, and body aches.  It is transmitted via droplets from one person to another through nasal and oral secretions.  In our community, the number of cases rise during the rainy season and during the cold months of November to January.  Although, anti-viral medications are available, it is recommended for high risk age groups only and so what remain to be the mainstays in treatment are adequate rest, fluids, and fever medications. This illness may be prevented by making sure that our children and family members have strong immune systems with the help of healthy food, exercise, Vitamin C and Zinc and vaccination against Flu.  More importantly, a proven means of preventing spread is through personal hygiene and proper hand washing.  This is taught to our students and we hope you can reinforce this habit at home.   

Annually, we also remind parents of Dengue Fever as it is considered endemic in the Philippines and is no longer a seasonal illness.  This means that unlike flu, Dengue cases are identified throughout the year.  It is considered a vector-borne illness meaning transmission is through the bite of the mosquito, whether at day or night.  As described by the World Health Organization (WHO), it is a complex illness due to its many manifestations and may even mimic influenza with similar symptoms such as fever and body aches.  Doctors are able to diagnose this through the combination of symptoms and since other viral illnesses can also cause a decrease in platelet count, they may request for other more sensitive and specific laboratory tests such as the Dengue blot and/or Dengue NS1 antigen tests.  There is no antibiotic or antiviral medication known to treat this illness and treatment is only supportive rather than curative.  

In 2014, WHO declared Region IV-A as one of the top five areas in terms of number of cases of Dengue. With stringent maintenance and proactive steps taken by the School for years now, CJPS has never had to deal with a rise in numbers. Enforcing year-round methods of eliminating possible breeding places for mosquitoes in all campuses is key to this. Our protocol starts during the summer break wherein drainages, ducts and gutters are inspected to make sure there is no obstruction to the flow of water and collecting ducts are adequately covered.  Our efforts continue throughout the school year wherein daily inspection and spraying of insecticides inside classrooms and surrounding areas are done to ensure all students would remain safe.

As we believe that healthy habits lead to good health and good health translates into better performance in school, we hope that efforts are likewise being made in your own homes and barangay/subdivision in preventing the abovementioned illnesses.  Moreover, the medical team would like to remind all parents not to send their child to school if the following symptoms are observed: heavy nasal discharge, diarrhea, vomiting, and fever. These symptoms require proper attention from their doctor and rest at home until fully recovered. Rest assured that teachers are always ready to assist your child in any missed lessons or exams during their absence.

   

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