THE Department of Health (DOH) declared malaria outbreak in the village of Gumitan in Marilog District, Davao City.

In a press conference Thursday, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said local health officials have already declared the outbreak due to the 183 confirmed cases in the area.

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"It (Marilog) has always been known as an endemic area," said Ona.

The health chief noted that the district is about 60 kilometers from Davao City and is "essentially" filled with forest trees, which are common breeding grounds for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

He related that from the period of June 21 to July 12 alone, there were a total of 645 suspected malaria cases although only 183 have so far been confirmed by blood samples.

The DOH said this is a huge jump considering that no malaria cases were recorded in the area last year.

There was also one death recorded due to malaria after a 29-year old male teacher succumbed in a private hospital.

Ona said the department has already sent a team from the National Epidemiology Center (NEC) to help identify the source, as well as recommend control and preventive measures.

Anti-malarial drugs and medicines have also been sent to the area such as 15 boxes of Co-artem and five boxes of quinine ampoules were also sent to DOH-Davao.

Ona urged the public to employ mosquito-repellent products as well as invest in mosquitoe nets in order to avoid the disease. (AMN/Sunnex)