First seven months of 2019: Drop in dengue cases in Central Visayas recorded

By: Rosalie Abatayo August 07,2019 - 07:29 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Central Visayas Office of the Department of Health (DOH-7) says dengue cases in the entire region has been decreasing every month within the year 2019.

DOH-7 Regional Director Jaime Bernadas said the epidemiology surveillance unit recorded the highest incidents of dengue in the first two months of the year with over 3,000 cases in January 2019 and over 2,000 incidents in February 2019. 

In March 2019, the number dropped to 1,000 cases .

The months of April and May saw the least number of cases with only about 700 cases recorded per month.

Dengue cases were up again in June 2019 with over 1,000 cases.

In July, the number remained at almost the same level before it went down to 700 cases from the second week of July to the week covering July 28 to August 3.

The numbers in Central Visayas has been on downward slope despite the head office’s declaration of a national epidemic on Tuesday, August 6.

The Central Visayas region or Region 7 is composed of the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor.

“Sa milabay nga upat ka semana, nag-plateau ang atong incidence rate ug karon nisugod na siya og ubos. Hinaut unta nga mopadayon kini,” said DOH-7 Regional Director Jaime Bernadas.

(In the past four weeks, the dengue incidence trend was on a plateau. It has started to go down now and we hope this would continue [to go down in the coming weeks].)

Although the numbers are down, Bernadas said residents should continue to be mindful about the cleanliness of their surroundings.

He said they should continue to carry out steps to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus.

On August 6, DOH Central Office declared a nationwide dengue epidemic as it recorded at least 146,062 cases in the country as of data dated July 20, 2019.

Bernadas said the lower rate of dengue incidents in the region compared to other parts of the country is most likely due to the pro-actice response of the residents in cleaning their surroundings and destroying potential breeding sites of mosquitoes.

The DOH-7 has also partnered with the Department of Education (DepEd) and local government units for the distribution of insecticide-treated nets which will be used as window screens in the classrooms.

The DOH-7 has distributed the insecticide-treated nets to at least 50 percent of the schools in the region, Bernadas said.

He said children, who are the most vulnerable victims of the dengue virus, should be best protected in schools because the peak biting hours of the mosquitoes carrying the virus is from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and 3 p.m. to 6p.m.

These are the hours when children are still in school.

Based on the DOH-7 data, majority of the dengue cases in the region or 26.2 percent belongs to the 6 to 10 years old age group.

From January 1 to August 3, 2019, Central Visayas has recorded 11,085 dengue cases with 74 deaths.

This is 118 percent higher than in 2018 although Bernadas said this has not yet reached the epidemic level threshold.

Cebu City, which is the largest city in the region, recorded the most number of cases at 1,497 or higher by 288 cases compared to the same period in 2018.

The cities of Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue follow with 663 and 454 cases, respectively. / celr

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