DESPITE the decrease of dengue cases in Central Visayas this year, the Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas is preparing for the expected dengue outbreak in the region by 2022.
Jeffrey Doyongan, DOH-Central Visayas entomologist, said a dengue outbreak is expected to occur next year based on the three-year trend of dengue cases in the region.
Doyongan told SunStar Cebu the preparation had already started this month or six months before the expected outbreak.
Due to this, Doyongan encouraged the public to undergo free dengue tests using dengue test kits in their respective local government units if they experienced symptoms.
From January to July 17, 2021, DOH recorded 976 dengue cases with seven deaths. The figures are 89.67 percent lower compared to the same period last year when 9,449 dengue cases and 39 deaths were recorded.
Doyongan said this is the result of continuous advocacy in the local government unit level on dengue prevention and control amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decrease is also attributed to Covid-19 quarantine measures such as restricted gatherings, the temporary closure of businesses, and the prohibition of face-to-face classes that resulted in less movements of children and fewer breeding sites like water-holding containers and empty bottles and cans, he added.
People, especially women, who are forced to stay at home developed the habit of planting and have time to regularly clean the household and surroundings, which helped eliminate the mosquito-breeding sites, Doyongan added.
“If we look at the previous years without the pandemic, mostly we have more dengue cases involving school-aged children,” Doyongan said, in a mix of English and Cebuano. (MVE)