Though the past months have seen a rise in the cases of Japanese encephalitis cases, including 9 deaths, the Department of Health (DOH) recently stated that getting vaccinated during the rainy season is not recommended. Instead, they advise that preventive measures should be given a higher priority.
“Hindi ho namin nirerekomenda sapagkat hindi po pangkaraniwang binibigay ang bakuna, commercially available po sa ngayon (We don’t recommend it because it’s unusual to give the vaccine (during this time), even though it’s commercially available,” Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag told GMA’s News To Go in an interview.
Continuing, he said, “Sa panahon na kung saan tumataas po yung kaso, sayang lang po ang pagpapabakuna. Ginagawa po ang pagpapabakuna bago pa po ang tag-ulan. (When the number of cases are high, it would be a waste to get vaccinated. It should be done before the rainy season starts.)”
The DOH plans to include it in the list of important immunization for young children in 2018, but the vaccine is currently available commercially.
photo: wikimedia commons
During the peak season of the disease, the public is advised to take necessary precautions to prevent its spread. These measures include the 4S method, which means self-protection measures; seek early consultation for prolonged fever; say ‘yes’ to fogging. However, the DOH discourages “unnecessary, indiscriminate fogging.”
The carrier of the disease belongs to the Culex species of mosquitoes, not to be confused with the Aedes aegypti, which can cause dengue, chikungunya, and Zika virus.
Currently, the region with the most number of cases is Central Luzon–specifically, Aurora, Bulacan, Bataan, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac And Zambales.
Japanese encephalitis is a disease that results in brain inflammation, which triggers fever, headache, fatigue, chills, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and in some more severe cases, neck stiffness, seizures, paralysis, coma, and even death.
According to the DOH, symptoms don’t appear until five to 15 days after a person is bitten by an infected mosquito.
It’s important for parents to seek medical help as soon as possible when their child’s fever lasts for more than two to three days.
(photo for representation purposes only; source: Fotolia)
sources: GMA News, Sun.Star
READ: 5 Things you need to know about Japanese Encephalitis