THE Provincial Health Office (PHO) in Negros Occidental declared as "dengue hotspots" certain barangays in five cities in the province due to increasing cases of dengue fever.

The areas declared as "dengue hotspots" were Barangay Concepcion, Talisay; Barangay 2, Cadiz City; Barangay Mambulac, Silay City; Barangay Aguisan, Himamaylan City; and Camingawan in Kabankalan City.

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Dr. Ernell Tumimbang, officer-in-charge of the PHO, however, assured Negrenses that the number of dengue cases does not justify a declaration of an outbreak as of this time.

He also said the province has enough blood supply at the blood bank of Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH), especially for dengue patients.

"Blood is available at a much lesser price for fresh whole blood and platelet concentrate," Tumimbang said.

The CLMMRH has a Centrifuge Machine that processes blood every Wednesday. "When blood supply was minimal in the past, the processing was done daily but due to the present sufficient supply, the blood bank processes blood only once a week," Tumimbang added.

Tumimbang also said that he will personally bring the updated report about the status of dengue in the province to the regional office of the Department of Health.

It would then be up to the DOH regional office to determine if there is a need to declare a dengue outbreak in certain areas in the province, he said.

"The whole province could be declared under an outbreak or a 'state of imminent danger' because of the number of dengue cases. But there are also other towns and cities that have lesser number of cases," Tumimbang said.

He also explained that although there are so many patients with fever in public and private hospitals in Bacolod and in the province, not all are stricken with dengue.

"Other patients are just experiencing some influenza due to the inclement weather condition this month," Tumimbang said.

From January to August 8 of this year, 15 deaths arising from dengue were recorded. Of those who died, five came from Himamaylan City, two from Silay City and one each from Murcia, Sipalay, Bago, Cadiz, San Carlos, Kabankalan, Talisay and La Carlota Cities. (TED)