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WITH the onset of the rainy season, expect a rise in cases of diarrhea and dengue. The Cebu City Health Department advised the public to take precautions.

Diarrhea can spread easily through contaminated food and water, said Cebu City Asst. epidemologist Durinda Macasucol. She warned people to be careful about buying street food to avoid contracting Hepatitis A. Keep surroundings clean and store water in safe containers to avoid stagnant water that provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes, she said.

Macasucol likewise warned residents to stay away from flooded areas due to the presence of rodents waste which causes leptopirosis. The health department already recorded 1,080 diarrhea cases in the past six months, about 200 cases more than the same period last year. Dengue ranks second in the number of cases but ranks as the most serious health risk.

Symptoms include a sudden onset of high fever for two to seven days, joint and muscle pain and pain behind the eyes, weakness and skin rashes. Some victims experience a nosebleed when their fever subsides along with abdominal pain, vomiting of coffee-colored matter and dark colored stools.

Cebu City epidemologist Dr. Ilya Tac-an urged parents to monitor their children and bring them to barangay health centers if they display dengue symptoms. Cebu City health centers offer free complete blood counts (CBC) and platelets counts.

Diarrhea and dengue are among the top eight ailments in the rainy season along with flu, hepatitis A, measles, leptospirosis, typhoid fever and cholera.