To drive down risk of dengue: DOH encourages ‘4 O’Clock Habit’

  • DOH urges public to make ‘4 O’Clock Habit’ their daily routine
  • The project was previously launched to mobilize communities in cleaning their surroundings
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue disease are most active during dusk

As the rainy season steps in, the Department of Health (DOH) encouraged the public to make the “4 O’Clock Habit” their regular daily routine.

The 4 O’Clock Habit is an annual campaign launched by the health department which aimed to mobilize communities in cleaning their surroundings and take time out to “search and destroy possible mosquito-breeding places” at 4 p.m. every day, an article published on GMA News Online disclosed.

Based on study, cleaning before evening is key to reducing the risk of dengue, as mosquitoes carrying the disease are most active during dusk time.

Commended as an effective project, Barangay Wawa in Taguig City is among the communities in the country implementing the 4 O’Clock Habit, to have recorded the second lowest number of dengue cases in the city since it began the campaign last year.

Nag-start kami ng January up to December ‘yan. Kailangan talaga naming bumaba yung cases eh. Kaya mula nung ginawa namin ng all-year round, mababa ang cases namin,” Rose Panganiban, a coordinator in Brgy. Wawa, was quoted saying.

[We started on January up to December. We need to lower the cases. Since we started the project, our cases decreased.]

The DOH said that aside from cleaning possible mosquito breeding sites and declogging sewer lines, homeowners may also request to have their houses and nearby sewers fogged. This will help clear the area of disease-carrying bugs, the agency added.

In addition to this, the DOH encouraged the public to be vigilant against mosquitoes even before the onset of the rainy season.

Based on DOH data, a total of 75,117 and 92,807 cases of dengue were recorded in 2014 and 2015 from January to September.

However, the mortality rates for dengue, dropped from 316 in 2014 to 269 in 2015.

Symptoms, which usually begin four to six days after infection and last for up to 10 days, may include sudden, high fever; severe headaches; pain behind the eyes; severe joint and muscle pain; fatigue; nausea; vomiting; skin rash, which appears two to five days after the onset of fever; and mild bleeding (such a nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising).