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Dengue cases in Central Visayas up by 148%

By: Carmel Loise Matus July 22,2016 - 11:18 PM

PARENTS, beware.

The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) reports an “alarming” 148% rise is dengue cases from January to July 16 this year with almost four times as many deaths compared to the same period last year.

According to Rennan Cimafranca, head of the Health Department’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit in Central Visayas (RESU-7), for the first half of the year, dengue cases reported already reached 6,810 compared to the 2,750 cases recorded for the same period in 2015.

Fifty-seven (57) deaths were recorded in Central Visayas this year compared to 15 deaths last year.

Of the cases, almost half or 3,108 were reported in Cebu province while Cebu City topped cities and municipalities in the region with the most number of dengue cases at 978, followed by Mandaue City with 312 and Toledo City with 268 cases. Most of the victims were children, aged 6-10 years old.

Rain or shine, dengue will continue to afflict communities if precautions are not taken, warned health officials.

Cimafranca told Cebu Daily News that the cases have been high this year because of the hot weather experienced by the region and the people’s practice of storing water in containers as there was little or no water supply due to the El Niño phenomenon; however, cases may still increase in the next months with the rainy season and the projected La Niña phenomenon to occur.

Cimafranca advised the public to monitor and clean areas in the house that may be potential breeding grounds of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which are carriers of the dengue virus. 

He said stagnant water should be drained and not be left unattended while clean water kept in drums or barrels should be covered. 

Cimafranca said that Central Visayas has been on the top ten regions that have the highest cases of dengue. 

According to statistics, school children are the most vulnerable age group to mosquito bites as they are exposed to mosquito breeding grounds when playing outside the home.

This is partly the reason why schools are active in the information campaign on dengue prevention and in keeping the school environment clean, Cimafranca said.  

“Ang mga lamok mangita na asa mangitlog (Mosquitoes would always look for places where they could lay their eggs),” Cimafranca warned as he advised the public not to be very complacent when someone they know is experiencing fever. 

“If the patient has fever, on the second day, he or she should have a medical check-up,” the health official said as the rise in deaths is also attributed to the late consultation of patients who experience flu-like symptoms.

According to health authorities, rapid testing kits are now available to determine if a patient with fever suffers from dengue or not while anti-dengue vaccines will be administered in October to a sample population of 9-year old school children in Cebu as part of the health department’s anti-dengue program.

Fogging or misting operations may only be done if there is an impending dengue outbreak in the area or if the result of an entomological survey shows a high rate of adult mosquitoes in the tested area. 

Diarrhea

Meanwhile, DOH-7 also warned against the outbreak of water-borne diseases such as diarrhea with the advent of the rainy season.

According to Cimafranca, people should be careful in drinking water and might as well boil it, if they are unsure of their water source.

Aside from boiling drinking water, Cimafranca also urged residents who have an open spring box to regularly treat their water source from possible contaminants.

He likewise urged that those who are maintaining water systems should fully develop their chlorinators in order to avoid incidences of diarrhea.

“There are those who said that they have treated their water, but the truth is they treated it only once or whenever they can remember doing it. Our plea is for people to do it on a weekly basis and to make sure that they do,” he told CDN in Cebuano.

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TAGS: dengue, Department of Health in Central Visayas, diarrhea, DOH-7, fever, RESU-7

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