Be a Wall Against Dengue

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Paolo Abrera was at the peak of his athletic prowess. Not only was Paolo healthy and fit, he was also training for triathlons. One day, however, he woke up feeling incredibly sick. He had the most painful of headaches and his body ached all over. At first, he thought that it was just your ordinary run-of-the mill fever. However, when he exclaimed that his head hurt so much that he wanted to take it off, his wife Suzi knew that something was incredibly wrong.

As it turns out, Paolo had dengue.

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A mosquito-borne flu-like illness that affects infants, young children, and adults, dengue is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. Over 100 million cases of dengue are reported every year around the world.

It was humbling, Paolo recalls, to come down with a sickness which you absolutely have no control over. He was young and healthy, after all.

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Maricel Laxa Pangilinan, who has had a bout with the disease twice, was disheartened when her own daughter got afflicted with dengue. At the time, Maricel was on a trip abroad and she immediately wanted to take the first flight home to be with her daughter.

She observed that dengue can happen anytime so it's important for families to arm themselves with the proper information.

Paolo and Maricel are part of a nationwide campaign to mobilize Filipinos against the spread of dengue. Recently launched at the Glorietta Activity Center, the #WallAgainstDengue campaign aims to build awareness among Filipinos families about how they can better protect themselves against one of the country's fastest growing mosquito borne diseases.

Apart from taking the necessary preventive measures like protecting their families with mosquito repellents and keeping their surroundings clean to avoid harboring breeding grounds for insects, it would also be good to ask about Dengvaxia, the world’s first dengue vaccine. Recommended for individuals ages nine to 45 years, the vaccine provides protection against all four virus serotypes of dengue. Families are advised to ask their doctors about this vaccine so they too can be a #WallAgainstDengue!

At the campaign launch at the Glorietta last weekend, mothers and families shared their experience of dengue. Mommy Mundo Founder Janice Villanueva talked about how her family had to manage her husband's sudden bout with dengue. Blogger Michelle Aventajado expressed alarm at finding out that her son had actually previously had dengue without them knowing it. Stylist Jenni Epperson, who has had no direct experience with the illness, showed how she is vigilant nonetheless having seen how it has affected her circle of relatives and friends. Of course, the best way to protect your loved ones is to ask your doctor about how you and your family can be a #WallAgainstDengue today!

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Families learn about dengue through games on stage

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Jenni Epperson shares how she's guarding her family against dengue

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Michelle Aventajado helps families identify what's real and what's not about dengue

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An interactive exhibit allowed guests to know more about dengue and the dengue vaccine

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We can build a wall against dengue!