PALO, Leyte – The Department of Health (DOH) Eastern Visayas regional office reminded the public of heat stroke and other diseases as the summer heat continues amid various activities this Holy Week.
DOH Regional Director Minerva Molon said health workers are prepared to respond to emergencies this Lenten season, but the public is advised to exercise extra precaution while participating in religious activities.
“Always bring bottled water to keep yourself hydrated, ensure that foods are well-packed so it won’t easily be spoiled, and use an umbrella if you are exposed to sunlight. Simple practices can avoid diseases common during the hot season,” said Molon in a statement issued Monday.
People with high blood pressure and other diseases that can be aggravated by severe heat and too much sun exposure are advised to stay home, especially between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the temperature is at its peak.
Also, the DOH advised people against bringing small children and babies to crowded places to prevent them from contracting diseases, as they have lower resistance against infections compared to adults and teens.
“For those traveling during the Holy Week, it is best to bring medicines along with other necessities as a safety precaution. Of course, check the roadworthiness also of your vehicle,” Molon added.
The official cautioned against emerging summer diseases such as sore eyes, colds, cough, and skin diseases.
Sore eyes lead to blindness, if not given proper treatment. It can easily develop due to harmful bacteria or viruses transmitted from one person to another.
Colds and cough easily spread during summer because the weather may turn erratic, causing sudden downpour from time to time. Skin diseases typically occur in areas where water supply is scarce, which compromises a daily bath.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) advised residents in the region to stay indoors during midday this dry season as the heat index in five provinces requires extreme caution.
The actual heat index for April 15 is at 38.5 in Catbalogan City, Samar; 38.5 in Borongan City, Eastern Samar, 38.6 in Catarman, Northern Samar, 40.5 in Maasin City, Southern Leyte, and 34.9 in Tacloban City, Leyte.
The heat index is the human discomfort index that gives the “apparent” temperature or what human perceive or feel like the temperature affecting their body.
High air temperatures and high relative humidity will give high apparent temperatures or indices. Full exposure to sunshine can increase the heat index by eight degrees Celsius. (PNA)