Health dept. declares aedes aegypti mosquito as ‘Public Enemy No. 1’

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) has declared the aedes aegypti mosquito as its Public Enemy Number 1.

This is because the aedes aegypti mosquito brings the triple threat of dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses, the department’s spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag said in an interview with the media Friday.

“Our campaign for dengue, chikungunya and Zika is only one, against the mosquito that is capable of transmitting these diseases,” he said, adding that with the declaration, the health department is focused on asking the public to be “good citizens”.

Tayag noted that more than 146,000 cases of dengue fever have been reported from Jan. 1 to Sept. 24 this year, which is 11.5 percent higher than last year.

As for Zika, he said they are monitoring a pregnant woman suspected of having caught the virus. The Zika virus has been found to cause microcephaly among babies, a congenital condition associated with incomplete brain development.

Meanwhile, 3,473 suspected cases of chikungunya across the country have been recorded from Jan. 1 to Sept. 24, he said.

He said that majority of the cases were reported last week in the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon region.

Tayag said they are expecting the number of cases to drop due to the conduct of the 4S campaign, referring to Search and destroy mosquito breeding sites; Seek early consultation; use Self-Protection Measures; and Say no to fogging.

He emphasized that fogging should only be done through the local government unit if the first S or Search and destroy has been achieved. Leilani Junio/