BAGUIO CITY – Health authorities urged the public to prepare themselves for the expected resurgence of cold weather illnesses that would significantly affect their productivity in their work and responsibilities in their personal life.
Dr. Lakshmi Legaspi, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR), said with the expected continuous drop in temperatures in Baguio and Benguet since the start of the year, residents and visitors must make sure they protect themselves from respiratory illness, dengue, chikungunya, and zika, as well as food and water-borne illnesses by keeping themselves healthy through strengthening their immune system.
The lowest temperature recorded in the city for this year was at 13 degrees Celsius last January 4, 2017, but weathermen predicted a continuous decline in the city’s temperature in the coming months with the enhanced northeast monsoon bringing the cold winter winds from mainland China to the Northern Luzon area.
For her part, Dr. Rowena Galpo, City Health Services Officer, reminded the local residents and visitors to keep themselves warm at all times by wearing thick clothes to combat the serious negative effects of the cold to their health, especially with the expected drop in the city’s temperature.
Galpo noted that during this time of the year, respiratory cases surge because residents and visitors easily contract the said illnesses because of the unpredictable weather condition.
The common respiratory illnesses that usually affect the public include cough and colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, among others.
The lowest temperature recorded in the city by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) was 6.3 degrees Celsius on January 18, 1961, while the fifth lowest temperature in the city which was 7.5 degrees Celsius was recorded on January 15, 2009.
Galpo expressed confidence that with the regular chilly weather from November to February every year, people know how to protect themselves from the serious negative effects of the cold to their health.
She added the public must also brace for the expected increase in influenza-like illnesses that could result in dengue fever considering that dengue is now a year-round illness that could increase anytime once the immune system is not strong enough to combat the virus.
She appealed to the people to immediately seek early medical attention once they contract whatever kind of illnesses so that they could be properly diagnosed by the health personnel assigned to the different health facilities not only in the city but also regionwide.
By Dexter A. See