THE long and hot summer season brought down by almost three folds the number of dengue cases in Davao Region, an official from Department of Health (DOH) 11 said Tuesday.

Based on the data released by DOH 11, the agency recorded a total of 1,733 suspected dengue cases from January to May 17, 2014, down significantly by 274.7 percent as compared to 4,761 cases of the same period last year.

The department also noted a decrease in dengue-related deaths, recording only eight from January to May 17, 2014 as against to 32 of the same period last year.

Of the total suspected cases, 898 were males and 835 were females.

Davao City posted the most number of suspected cases with 1,138. Davao Oriental came second highest with 252 suspected cases, followed by Davao del Norte with 147, Compostela Valley with 136, and Davao del Sur with 60.

In an interview, Mary Divene Hilario, unit head of Health Education and Promotion Section of DOH 11, said the decrease could be attributed to hot summer period which resulted to almost no rain in the region, making it less ideal for mosquitoes to breed.

She added residents now are more empowered to battle out dengue by following the 4 o'clock, which means cleaning the surroundings and destroy the spots where mosquitoes breed.

"Ang tao aware na sa mode of transmission. Dapat gyud manglimpyo (The people are now more aware of the transmission. They really have to clean their homes)," she said.

She said the decrease can only mean that DOH programs have so far been effective, including the distribution of Olyset-treated curtains and ovicidal-larvicidal (OL) traps.

In 2012, Davao City Health Office (CHO) started the implementation of Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS), a process of spraying the inside of dwellings using a bio-friendly insecticide to kill mosquitoes. But, it was a project sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Hilario added that more people have become receptive to anti-dengue drive DOH 11 to zero in dengue cases in the region.

"They already learned that it could result in deaths if they don't take an action," she said.

However, she added they are continuously monitoring several areas in the region, as the cases may spike due to the rainy season between June and September.