THE Island Garden City of Samal (Igacos) government Friday, July 12, declared a state of calamity due to dengue fever outbreak.
According to the Igacos City Health Office (CHO) - Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, there have been 249 dengue cases recorded cases from January to June this year.
Babak District has the most dengue cases with 169 followed by Samal District (170) and Kaputian District (90).
Areas such as barangays Cawag and Anonang were declared “dengue hotspot areas”.
CHO also said the dengue cases dramatically increased up to 730 percent higher compared to the same period last year.
The health office also said there have been two deaths recorded this year, compared to last year with none.
“Due to the increased number of incidents of dengue fever, the LGU officials deemed it necessary to declare the said outbreak and ordered involved agencies to release funds and adopt quick response measures to counter the dengue cases outbreak,” according to a Facebook post of the Samal Island Information.
CHO health officer Dennis Carlos Flores told Sunstar Davao the increase may be attributed to switching of circulating dengue virus scrotype, based on a report from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Flores said the recorded cases is a “worrying concern that needs to be address immediately”.
Despite the office’s massive information and education campaign (IEC), he said the virus carried by mosquitoes had been evolving throughout the past three years.
“It has been part of the natural cycle of dengue na nagabag-o ang dagan every three years (that changed its course every three years). It can be recalled that the Department of Health (DOH) noted a huge increase in 2016,” Flores said in a phone interview.
The health officer said they are continuously conducting clean up drives especially in schools, wherein children in these areas are the most vulnerable.
Flores also said there has been a shortage of Dengue NS1 Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) kit that detects the presence of dengue virus in 15 minutes, even at its early stages. He, however, urged residents to immediately bring patients to the nearest hospitals for any sign of dengue.
He said the health office expects a huge increase of dengue cases before the year ends. (RGL)