WITH the reported death of an engineer's only child and four children now being hospitalized, a developing "dengue outbreak" is feared to have threatened the seaside barangay of Bonbon in Cagayan de Oro City.
Rushed on Sunday afternoon at Sabal hospital are no less than the two siblings of Sun.Star sports editor Lynde Salgados who were both found positive with the dreaded mosquito bite-related malady.
Lichelle Van Salgados, 15, and younger brother Lendrix John, 13, are both students at Corpus Christi high school in Barangay Macasandig.
On Sunday evening, Salgados' neighbor Roy Ejercito at Zone 5, Barangay Bonbon also brought his two kids -- Emil, 10 and Kulot, 6 -- at the same hospital for laboratory tests which showed they are afflicted with dengue.
From Sabal hospital, Ejercito's children are now being treated at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC).
"Health-wise and the prevailing poverty in the country today, mahadlok gyod kita sa dengue kay gawas nga taas ang mortality rate. Dako nga kantidad ang magasto sa ospital," said another parent, shortly after her 10-year-old daughter had been diagnosed with dengue on Sunday at Sabal Hospital.
One attendant at said hospital was even quite vocal to share that in recent weeks alone, "Halos mga dengue patients ang mi-landing dire. Tulo walay suwerte, duha ang bata ug usa ka tigulang ang nakabsan," adding "unta maluwas ang bata nga anaa karon sa ICU (Intensive Care Unit)."
In Barangay Bonbon where "nipa trees" are abound and comfort rooms are rare in some areas, dengue cases are considered as frequent visitor especially during rainy season or when the weather condition is unpredictable.
At Villa Cristori which is just a walking distance from Zone 5 where the recent dengue victims reside reportedly live a couple, the husband being an engineer, whose only child was said to have expired some weeks ago due to dengue.
"Nag-request man kuno `to sila sa Kapitan for defogging or fumigation para mabugaw ang mga lamok adtong buhi pa ilang anak," one Bonbon resident was overheard as saying, even as Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro is still trying to verify this fact.
For the families of Salgados and Ejercito, however, they were one in pointing to an abandoned shallow well at the back of their houses as the breeding ground for the dengue-carrier mosquitoes.
"While ga-maintain kita nga manglimpiyo sa atong tugkaran, ulahi na nga nadiskubre nga anaa diay mabaw nga atabay sa luyo nga walay cover og dugay na nga wala gigamit. Puwerteng daghana sa puti-on nga lamok dihang among gisolayan og condemn," they said in unison.
A retired Army officer, owner of the residential lot where the forsaken well nestled, could not resist but say something for some contributors in "polluting my place."
"Adunay mga silingan nga dili ga-respitar ilang mga hugaw sulod sa plastic ipang-salibay lang dinhe sa sulod," the lot owner, said.
He agreed that Barangay Bonbon officials should do something to address the recurring problem ("walay kasilyas") that hounded health-conscious Bonbon folks since time immemorial.
Meanwhile, Emiliano "Jun" Galban Jr., information officer of the Department of Health (DOH) in Northern Mindanao, said the health department will be conducting a larval survey in the area to determine the breeding ground of dengue-causing mosquitoes.
"Kon walay capacity nga mo-action ang city kami na sa region ang mo-adto og mo-survey sa area," Galban told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro. (Nicole J.Managbanag)