THE number of dengue patients continues to rise in Central Visayas, which registered the largest number of cases in the country, according to a Department of Health (DOH) 7 official.
Ronald Jarvik Buscato, dengue coordinator of DOH 7, described the situation as “very alarming.”
From January to April 3, the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit recorded 6,097 dengue cases.
“It’s too early. We just ended the first quarter and we have so many cases,” Buscato said.
The official reported that 37 people succumbed to dengue fever. The common causes of death were the complications brought by the disease, such as hypotensive shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation.
The dengue cases rose by 245 percent this year compared to the same period in 2018, which only saw 1,768 cases and 12 deaths.
Buscato said if the number continues to rise, it could break the 260-percent increase in 2016, which was labeled by DOH an epidemic year.
Local government units have been tasked to prevent the spread of dengue.
The Cebu City Goverment implemented its third cycle of spraying mosquito insecticides.
DOH 7 urged the public to clean the surroundings and destroy the mosquito breeding sites.
Meanwhile, health officials decided to continue their measles vaccination campaign in Central Visayas. This was disclosed by Ruff Vincent Valdevieso, the program coordinator of the immunization program at the DOH 7.
He said they have ended their anti-measles program held at the vaccination posts. It was part of their measles outbreak response.
DOH 7 extended the program for another week in April to map out the entire region and determine which areas have children (six to 59 months old) who have not been vaccinated.
Valdevieso said 169,619 children (six to 59 months old) have been vaccinated. Including adults, DOH vaccinated about 268,652 persons. Another 145,618 students from kindergarten to Grade 6 were also vaccinated.
The cases of measles in Central Visayas reached 1,304 from January to April 3 this year.
The outbreak status in Central Visayas is still in effect. (From HBL of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)