Fighting dengue head-on
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte
GlaxoSmith Kline (GSK), makers of the doctor-recommended paracetamol brand Calpol, takes action against dengue by partnering with the Dept. of Health (DoH) and the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) for effective dengue fever management in its metro-wide campaign simply dubbed “Aksyon Laban sa Dengue.”
Paracetamol is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a first-line treatment for dengue fever. Aspirin and/or ibuprofen are not advised as these drugs may aggravate bleeding.
Dengue is caused by four strains, making it possible to be infected with dengue more than once. The viruses are transmitted to humans more commonly by bite of the female Aedes aegypti mosquito, which usually bites during the day and lays eggs in clean and stagnant water.
“Dengue is a worldwide health issue. Based on the WHO records, there have been 100 million cases recorded and five per cent resulted in death,” pointed out DoH undersecretary Dr. Eric Tayag.
“Last year, the DoH recorded 204,906 dengue cases resulting to 660 deaths. While this year, there have already been 24,900 reported cases which have resulted in 100 deaths. But the truth is, dengue can be prevented and stopped. The important thing is to know the facts about the disease and act accordingly,” continued Dr. Tayag.
The disease continues to spread due to globalization, urbanization, climate change, population explosion, pollution problems, inadequate mosquito control, and the lack of community support to fight it. Dengue is serious and potentially fatal, especially to children. Quick and accurate detection is needed to arrest this disease.
Dengue fever, if not detected and treated early, can progress to Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever or Dengue Shock Syndrome, which are the more severe forms and can be fatal. The signs and symptoms to watch out for include high fever, severe headache, abdominal/joint/ or eye pains, nausea & vomiting, rashes, and bleeding tendencies like easy bruising or nose & gum bleeding.
“Dengue is a clever and cunning disease. It can disguise itself as other diseases. So, during the rainy season, which is when we usually see an increase in reported cases, it is important to be on the lookout for fever that is at least of two days duration,” advised PPS secretary Dr. Sally Gatchalian.
A number of strategies can help reduce the risk of acquiring the disease. These include eliminating the places where mosquitoes lay eggs, primarily artificial containers that hold water, like old tires, softdrink bottles, tin cans and flowers vases. Also, cleaning gutters of leaves and debris so that rainwater does not collect and become breeding places. Ditto the use of mosquito nets, protective clothing, and proper application of mosquito repellants on exposed skin. And most of all, promptly seeking consultation once symptoms arise is a must!
“While there is no specific medicine to cure dengue, we can, however, alleviate the pain felt by children in managing their fever like giving them Calpol which provides soothing relief you can rely on. When children have fever, they feel weaker and lack the energy to enjoy life. So when fever strikes, it’s as if they are putting their lives on hold. In these trying times, you need a reliable partner to help provide a feeling of comfort that your sick child needs,” declared Jeofrey Yulo, GM of GSK’s consumer health care unit.
The DoH reiterates that the most important way to prevent and fight dengue is still by practicing the 4S strategies: search and destroy; seek early consultation; saying no to indiscriminate fogging; and self-protective measures like Calpol for your young ones.
Eliminating dengue must be a community effort. The DoH will initially facilitate the training of health workers to discuss new incidence and disease trends as well as on updates in its prevention and treatment guidelines. The PPS health committee, on the other hand, will then cascade these modules based on DoH guidelines with selected barangays. For its part, GSK will be bringing doctors to these areas to lead the dengue information drive and help Filipinos protect their families and loved ones.
“You can protect your loved ones by knowing more about this debilitating disease, its prevention and management. At the onset of dengue-related symptoms, immediately seek the advice of a pediatrician or physician. In cases of fever, Calpol is the Filipino mom’s partner in providing effective, soothing fever relief that is suitable for children, And because nothing works faster on fever than Calpol, you are assured of your children going back to their normal, playful selves again,” Yulo added.
The Calpol line of products contains paracetamol that are specifically formulated to give effective fever and pain relief to children. It comes in three formulations: 100mg/ml infant drops (10ml), 120mg/5ml suspension (60/120ml sizes), and a 250mg/ml suspension for older kids (60ml). It is also available in two great-tasting flavors of orange and strawberry that children love.
Doctor-recommended Calpol is a mom’s trusted and caring partner in providing effective fever relief for children and is well-tolerated when used as prescribed. The “Aksyon Laban sa Dengue” caravan is set to visit barangays around Metro Manila identified with high cases of dengue incidence.
GSK, one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, is committed to improving the quality of human life, early on, by enabling people to do more, feel better, and live longer. For more information on this important campaign, simply log-on to the company Web site, www.calpol.com.ph.