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Koronadal increases his fight against filariasis

To stop the spread of filariasis in the region, the epidemiology and surveillance unit of the City Health Office (CHO) here and the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) of South Cotabato have stepped up case-finding efforts.

Wednesday saw the confirmation of a lymphatic filariasis case in a remote sitio in Barangay Assumption by acting CHO chief Dr. Vincent Ende.

The patient, who went through blood smearing as part of the IPHO’s outreach program last week, was one of 38 people who had the procedure but was not named by local health authorities.

In an interview, Ende stated that although the patient did not exhibit any symptoms of the illness, the patient’s travel history included the bordering municipalities of Koronadal and an adjacent one.

He stated that they would carry out the widespread treatment in the neighborhood after the nighttime blood smearing on 200 target folks is complete.

We plan to begin the mass therapy by this Friday or probably the next week, he continued.

A parasitic worm infection called filariasis is spread from one person to another by the bite of a mosquito that feeds on human blood.

An overactive immune system, fluid accumulation in the lymphatic system, swelling and fluid accumulation in the scrotum, and edema or swelling and fluid accumulation in the arms, legs, breasts, and female genitals are some of its symptoms.

Given the disease’s vector, the CHO is also carrying out fogging operations and leading a cleanup campaign to get rid of mosquitoes that commonly bite between dark and dawn and are known to transmit tiny worms.

To stop the spread of filariasis, we engage in a number of actions. In order to get rid of mosquitoes that spread filariasis, we are also doing vector mapping and organizing a cleanup campaign at a nearby creek, Ende said.

The one case that was recorded has no impact on South Cotabato’s existing filariasis-free status, according to Jose Barroquillo Jr., IPHO program coordinator for mosquito-borne diseases, as it still only affects 1% of the population.

The World Health Organization and the Department of Health deemed South Cotabato “filariasis-free” in 2017.

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