DOH: Respiratory infections top concern among Taal evacuees

January 19, 2020

THE Department of Health has expressed concern that acute respiratory infection was among the top five conditions being observed in evacuation centers for victims of restive Taal Volcano’s activities.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, however, assured that medicines and medical personnel are enough to serve all at evacuation centers.

In a radio interview, Duque said respiratory conditions are understandable due to the ashfall from Taal’s phreatic eruptions last Sunday, Jan. 12.

From the 950 consultations among evacuees, respiratory infections, hypertension, flu-like illnesses, diarrhea, and skin lesions are the top-five symptoms being observed by DOH medical personnel.

But while he assured the public that medicines and medical personnel are enough to address the health needs of the evacuees, Duque raised particular concern on the elderly, as they are most susceptible to ailments caused by the volcanic ash.

“Bantayan natin mabuti ang mga lolo at lola na prone sa sakit na maaaring idulot ng makapal na abo,” Duque said.

The health chief said the DOH has distributed 300,000 pieces of face masks, mostly N95 and some surgical masks.

He also discouraged the use of bras and diapers as alternative as these are not porous materials desirable for use as masks, suggesting instead the use of clean pieces of cloth, bimpo, and handkerchief as alternatives.