IN TIME for Dengue Awareness Month, the Department of Health-Cordillera Administrative Region called the public to stay proactive against dengue despite the decrease in the number of cases in Baguio City.

Dr. Donna Tubera, head of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit announced there has been a decrease in dengue cases from 197 first quarter last year to 66 same period this year.

Most of these cases affected the 10 to 19 year old age group.

However, despite the decrease in the number of cases Tubera said they are more anxious because people tend to "put their guards down".

Local Health Support Division of the Center for Health Development Cordillera earlier warned the public to stay vigilant especially since rainy season is here.

She added the dengue virus has now mutated, is more aggressive and can be more potentially fatal.

Tubero seconded this emphasizing these vectors' common breeding sites are areas with dirty water.

Specifically, she advised the public to always clean their refrigerators and water drums as they are also common household breeding sites aside from septic tanks.

The DOH-CAR launched in February dengue awareness to encourage the public to continue to fight vectors of dengue and other related illnesses such as malaria.

The office has been distributing long lasting insecticide treated curtains to different schools in the city to serve as barrier and killers of dengue vectors.

These curtains, according to Tubera, can last up to 2 years without washing.

The health office also reminded the public to always protect themselves by wearing pants, long sleeves and even mosquito-protecting lotion.

They also told the public to seek early consultation and not to self-medicate when early symptoms of dengue show.

The office stressed indiscriminate fogging should not be practiced as it only drives away the vectors to other places. Instead, it is more advisable for people to search and destroy the breeding places of the vectors.

Tubera revealed a vaccine for dengue is being developed expected to come out by 2016.