April 2, 2023

Water-storing plants like fortune plants and bromeliads are one of the emerging risk factors for dengue fever in the city.

Health Services Office Sanitation Division Chief Charles Bryan Carame whose teams spearhead the search and destroy and fogging operations of the various district health centers in the barangays said the presence of these plants is one of the common factors in households and places that had clustering of dengue cases in the city.

The others are uncovered drums, bottles, and used tires.

Bromeliads are tropical plants which include the pineapple and several colorful houseplants (and many of them) are able to store water in a structure formed by their tightly overlapping leaf bases.

The stagnant water that collects in the leaf cups lure insects including dengue-carrying species aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus, which thrive in clean and stagnant water.

To prevent water from stagnating in the plants without having to dispose them Carame suggested plant enthusiasts to remove the pools of water from the leaf cups daily, transfer the plants in shaded places to protect them from the rain, and make sure that water is poured on the base and not on the leaves when watering.

For fortune plants outside of homes, cutting or trimming is recommended.

The city government has intensified its campaign against dengue by mobilizing the barangays and encouraging residents to conduct massive cleanup to remove the breeding sites of dengue-carrying mosquitoes following the spike in cases in the country in the past weeks. – Aileen P. Refuerzo