ALARMED over the rising cases of dengue fever in Davao del Sur, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) has called on the local government units and the community to take steps to prevent the spread of the disease.

Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang, Provincial Health Officer, said they have placed the province as dengue epidemic after an alarming increased dengue cases had increased from the month of January up to present.

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Dayanghirang said the dengue toll rises to 13 on Tuesday while they have already 600 cases reported after the victims were admitted to various hospitals in the province.

In Davao del Sur Provincial Hospital alone, more than 10 patients were diagnosed to have dengue while a 24-year-old girl expired on Tuesday.

She said Margy Grace Manib, a resident of Barangay Lapulabao, Hagonoy Davao del Sur, died along the way while she will transported for Intensive Care Unit (I.C.U.) management to another hospital here.

"Her platelet count to 17 and she was admitted here on Monday afternoon, the normal platelet is 180 above but when it lower to 120 down, then it is very crucial," Dayanghirang said.

In 2009, a total of 246 dengue patients were listed at the PHO and only two were in mortality.

Patients like Mike Magantor, a resident of Lopez Jaena and Jocel Lakandula, 21, a resident of Mabini-Bataan, all in Digos City, said they started fever and vomiting early this week.

"There was no open canal at our place," both said in vernacular.

Roy Bucol, 24, a resident of Sitio Lacobe in Barangay Zone 4, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, said he suffered fever for more than a week now.

He said he traveled banana to Libungan, South Cotabato but when he went home he already felt nausea.

Dayanghirang said since the month of January up to present she noted at least 600 patients confined in various hospitals and were diagnosed to have dengue.

"It is alarming because the mortality increased to 13 up to present," she said.

Health personnel from the PHO were already dispatched to conduct massive information dissemination and consolidation to aware the public.

"We remind the people to be vigilant against these mosquitoes carrying dengue by cleaning their backyards," she said. (Orlando B. Dinoy)