THE Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Negros Occidental has announced that dengue cases in the province has already reached the alert level threshold and the situation is already alarming.

Based on the Dengue Fever Surveillance Report from January 1, 2022 to May 14, 2022, the number of dengue cases in the province has now reached 511, the highest in the entire Western Visayas.

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, said the increase is 193.68 percent or 338 cases more compared to the same period in 2021 with only 174 cases.

Hinigaran town currently has the highest number of dengue cases with 46, while Victorias City has the lowest percentage of dengue cases with 86.67 percent.

Fatalities in the province remain at five since January of this year.

"Remember, this is just the first quarter of the year, we still have a long way to go," Tumimbang warned.

Despite the increase in dengue cases, Tumimbang said they are not yet recommending to the City and Municipal Health Offices in the province to conduct fogging operations.

He pointed out that fogging will kill only the adult mosquitoes, but not their larva.

Tumimbang said that instead of fogging, they have recommended to the health offices in the localities to rather use larvicides in order to more effectively kill off the mosquito larvae.

Tumimbang, however, pointed out that it is still far better to eliminate stagnant water, as it would also eliminate possible places for the adult mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

"This is already an alarming stage and we should address this immediately," the provincial health officer stressed.

He added that the provincial government has already reactivated its Anti-Dengue Task Force to deal with the rising cases.

Tumimbang said they will sit down with the Provincial Health Board and pass any resolutions that would support the PHO's actions against dengue.

Dengue causes a severe flu-like illness that could sometimes be fatal. Its carriers are day-biting mosquitoes.