HEALTH authorities revealed dengue fever in the region declined by two percent for the first 49 weeks of 2016 with 10,561 suspected cases compared to the 10,746 cases recorded during the similar period in 2015.

Dr. Lakshmi Legaspi, regional director of the Department of Health – Cordillera, noted 20 people died due to dengue during the reckoning period last year compared to the 13 deaths reported during the similar period in 2015.

Legaspi claimed clustering of cases were reported in some barangays in the provinces of Apayao and Kalinga, thus, continuous cooperation and coordination of all sectors are encouraged to help intensify the campaign against dengue, chikungunya, zika and Japanese encephalitis and at least weekly clean-up drive, especially in areas that have clustering for almost two weeks.

Benguet recorded the highest increase at 105 percent with 4,208 cases for the first 49 weeks of 2016 compared to the 2,054 cases during the similar period in 2015 while Baguio City came in second at 69 percent increase with 2,880 dengue cases last year compared to the 1,704 cases recorded in 2015.

Ifugao also reported a 35 percent increase in dengue cases with 1083 cases during the first 49 weeks of 2016 compared to the 804 cases registered during the similar period the previous year.

On the other hand, Kalinga recorded the highest decrease at 68 percent with 791 cases last year compared to the 2,510 dengue cases the previous year followed by Abra which recorded a 63 percent decline with only 378 cases last year compared to the 1,081 cases the previous year.

Apayao also registered a 59 percent drop with only 445 dengue cases during the first 49 weeks last year compared to the 1,034 cases during the similar period in 2015 while non-CAR areas reported a 58 percent decrease with 341 dengue cases in 2016 compared to 805 cases during the similar period the previous year.

Mountain Province posted a 42 percent decrease in dengue cases with 435 last year compared to the recorded 754 cases during the similar period the previous year.

Legaspi revealed the age range of the dengue cases was nine days to 96 years old with the media pegged at 21 years old.

Per records, males were the most affected with the dreaded illness registering some 5,670 individuals afflicted equivalent to 53.7 percent while females accounted for 46.3 percent of the total number of dengue suspects regionwide.

Legaspi recommended the personnel in charge of the epidemiology and surveillance units of Pudtol, Apayao and Tabuk City, Kalinga to continuously investigate clustering of dengue cases and intensify vector control in their respective areas and intensify fever and rash surveillance in their places and report suspected cases that fit the case definition of dengue.

Moreover, she directed health personnel to conduct prevention on dengue, chikungunya and zika cases and vector control activities and to conduct fogging and misting activities as warranted. (Dexter See/PIO)