THE Department of Health has recommended the declaration of a dengue outbreak in nine local government units in Central Visayas after recorded cases exceeded the epidemic threshold.
Dr. Ronald Jarvik Buscato, dengue program coordinator of the Department of Health (DOH) 7, said they recommended the declaration of a dengue outbreak to the local government units of Lapu-Lapu City and Sibonga town in Cebu province; the town of Lazi in Siquijor; and Tagbilaran City, Loon, Trinidad, Cortes, Clarin and Dauis in Bohol province.
Buscato said epidemic threshold means a 10 percent increase in six morbidity weeks of the same period in the last five years.
By recommending the declaration of an outbreak, the local government units can activate their response program and provide more support and attention to areas with high cases of dengue.
In Lapu-Lapu City, the number of dengue cases for the first 40 days of 2019 has quadrupled to 299 from 67 cases in the same period in 2018.
Dr. Agnes Cecil Realiza, Lapu-Lapu City Health Officer, said in January they recorded a total of 171 cases compared to the 58 cases in January 2018.
From Feb. 1 to 9, the DOH 7 Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (Resu) recorded 128 dengue cases compared to the nine cases in the same period in 2018, Realiza said.
She said barangays Basak, Babag, Mactan, Marigondon, Pusok and Gun-ob are among the barangays with high incidence of dengue cases. These barangays are also big in population.
She added that in Barangay Kalawisan, a dengue patient died on Jan. 29.
Realiza said that based on their investigation, common to these barangays is the unsanitary surrounding. This could have contributed to the spread of the virus.
The city health officer said they now have doubled their efforts in the environmental sanitation education campaign together with the barangay health workers.
Realiza called on residents to maintain cleanliness in their surroundings.
Earlier, Claire Amoro, 18, a call center agent from Barangay Kalawisan died because of dengue.
Data from Resu showed that Cebu City recorded the most number of cases at 390 with three deaths for the first 40 days of 2019. The town of Sibonga recorded 152 cases with one death.
Cebu City Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos, deputy mayor for health, said as of Feb. 15, Friday, the Cebu City Health Office did not receive any DOH recommendation to declare a dengue outbreak.
“Presently, Cebu City Health is at our third cycle of doing misting, search and destroy, curtain impregnation, larvicidal of the top 15 barangays having high cases of dengue,” she said.
These barangays are Guadalupe, Lahug, Kalunsasn, Duljo, Labangon, Tisa, Pardo, Mambaling, Kinasang-an, Calamba, Bo. Luz, Sambag 1, Sambag 2, Ermita and Talamban.
Meanwhile, Buscato said they did not monitor new strains of dengue since the last clinical report in the first quarter of 2017.
Buscato urged the public to seek early help if fever persists for more than 24 hours. Early intervention is important to avoid cases of death.
He said patients can go to their respective rural health units to avail themselves of free dengue testing kits and be tested soonest.
He said the DOH is now integrating efforts against measles and dengue in the house-to-house campaigns. (MVG with Flor V. Querubin and Wenilyn Sabalo - USJ-R Intern)