Surge in dengue cases alarming

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Thursday, July 31, 2014


DENGUE in Northern Mindanao has reached an alarming level after it recorded a total of 4,150 cases.

The Regional Epidemiology, Surveillance and Disaster Response Unit (Resdru) of the Department of Health in the region (DOH-10) reported that dengue incidents surged at 35 percent higher as of July 26, 2014 compared to the same period last year.

In 2013 of the same period saw 3,066 cases of dengue in the region, DOH-10 noted.

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Ivan Rubio, Resdru assistant program coordinator on dengue, told Sun*Star Cagayan de Oro Wednesday morning that what the data have shown is enough for the entire region to be alarmed.

Deaths by dengue virus recorded as of July 26 this year reached 15 compared to last year's 10 of the same month. The victims were aged one to 14 years old.

All provinces in the region except Bukidnon have increasing reports of individuals admitted to sentinel hospitals because of the virus.

Oro with the highest number of cases

Misamis Oriental has reported the highest number of dengue patients among other provinces in the region with 606, followed by Bukidnon with 532, while Cagayan de Oro has most cases among other cities with 1,229 followed by Ozamiz City with 281.

"However, this statistics will most likely increase since there are still hospitals and health centers which are due to submit their late reports," Rubio said.

Both Camiguin province and El Salvador City registered the lowest number of victims at 88 and 16, respectively.

Last year, Bukidnon reported the highest number with 558 cases. Among the cities in the region in 2013, Cagayan de Oro still ranked the highest with 468 cases.

"Cases of dengue can reach our threshold every rainy season that falls within June until September. This has been the trend," Rubio told this paper in an earlier interview adding that dengue fever hit children the most.

"Kids are very active. They sweat a lot. The more active a person is, the more one sweats. The more one hides in shady places, the more one is prone to dengue carrier mosquitoes," he added.

Although the data dropped from last week, DOH-10 still continues to conduct safety measures to prevent the spreading of the virus.

Earlier, Anita Baguio, DOH-10 Health Promotion Unit officer-in-charge, reminded that there are four types of dengue carrier mosquitoes.

"Once you get infected by a certain type of dengue, there's still a possibility the three other types of carriers can bite you and may lead you again to fever," she told this paper.

Although she lives in a fully air-conditioned home, Charlene Mae, 12, resident of Lala town, Lanao del Norte, was admitted to the hospital twice because of contracting the dengue virus.

"I have had our entire house built with air conditioners to somehow prevent dengue-yielding mosquitoes from attacking my kids. I never thought my daughter will be hospitalized twice [for] the same reason," Don Fortin told this paper last Saturday.

Baguio said to diminish number of dengue cases, Filipinos must follow the health department's 4S method—search and destroy breeding places, seek early consultation, observe self-protection, and say no to indiscriminate fogging.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 31, 2014.

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