DESPITE of the government's massive educational campaign, cases of dengue still continue to increase every year.

In Cagayan de Oro, the City Health Office recorded 500 dengue cases, five of whom died, from January to June this year. Last year, cases only reached 300 during the same period.

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In Northern Mindanao, the Department of Health recorded 2,345 cases from January to June this year, much higher compared with last year's 568 cases.

Of the recorded cases this year, Bukidnon had 517, higher from last year's 47 cases.

Dr. David Mendoza, head of the DOH's Epidemiology Department, said the province is now being referred to as the "dengue hotspot" in the region.

In Misamis Oriental, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ignacio Moreno said they have already recorded 571 cases from January to June this year, a far cry from the 171 cases recorded during the same period last year.

"It has been observed that dengue cases will rise every five years. But the trending is unexplainable," Moreno said.

With the province's 571 dengue cases, Moreno said at least 10 persons have already died.

Most of the cases recorded in the province came from the municipality of Tagoloan with 118 where the first fatality was recorded particularly in Barangay Natumolan.

Other barangays in the town with high incidence of dengue cases include Poblacion with 35 and Sta. Cruz, 28.

Moreno said for two years, there was no dengue cases reported in Barangay Natumolan hence they were quite surprise with the incidence.

Aside from Tagoloan, the other areas in Misamis Oriental with high incidence of dengue cases include Gingoog City with 86 and Villanueva with 54.

With these reported cases, Moreno is reiterating the government's preventive campaign to avoid getting sick with dengue, which is cleanliness and good hygiene.

"Mao ra gihapon nga mga linya ang atong ibalik-balik pagpasabot, maintain good hygiene and cleanliness in their surroundings to avoid the spread of the disease," Moreno said.

Health officials are not recommending "fogging operation" in dengue prevention since according to Moreno, this is only a temporary solution and could be done if there is a reported dengue outbreak in the community.

"Fogging is not an effective way of containing dengue but it's the collaborative effort of the resident within the community," Moreno said.

He said that maintaining cleanliness is the best way to avoid the spread of the disease. (Annabelle L. Ricalde)