NEGROS Occidental, excluding its capital Bacolod City, posted the highest number of both dengue cases and deaths in this region, records of the Department Health (DOH) in Western Visayas showed.
Based on the Morbidity Week 46 Report of the agency, there were 3,829 recorded dengue cases in the province since the start of the year.
The figure accounts for almost 42 percent of the total 9,164 cases registered in Western Visayas during the period January 1 to November 18.
Negros Occidental was followed by Iloilo with 1,088 cases; Aklan, 931; Antique, 680; Capiz, 316; and Guimaras, 37.
Bacolod City ranked second with 1,704 cases while Iloilo City registered 380 cases only.
The remaining 199 dengue cases were accounted for patients, who are only “visiting” or not really from the region.
In terms of deaths, DOH-Western Visayas reported that Negros Occidental has 36, comprising 50 percent of total deaths in this region, at 72.
Bacolod City again was in second spot, having 12 deaths. It was followed by Antique with 10; Iloilo Province, seven; Aklan, four; and Iloilo City, three.
The provinces of Capiz and Guimaras recorded no deaths, the reports further showed.
Dr. Reynilyn Reyes, head of the family, health and nutrition cluster of DOH-Western Visayas, Monday told SunStar Bacolod that higher dengue cases and deaths in Negros Occidental manifests the need for the province to implement stronger counter measures.
She said that since dengue is a vector-borne disease, possibly there are many virus-carrier mosquitoes in the province.
“It could be attributed to both environmental and host factors, including the vulnerability of patients,” Reyes said, adding that higher cases possibly resulted from “more” number of vector.
The province maybe has potential habitats for mosquitoes especially Aedes Aegypti, posing higher risk of dengue virus infection to the public.
It is good to have a strong vector-control program, the DOH-Western Visayas official said, adding that “this includes preventing the possible development of breeding places for mosquitoes mainly through maintaining cleanliness and sanitation on surroundings.”
Negros Occidental has a case fatality rate (CFR) and attack rate of 0.94 percent and 149.19, respectively.
Attack rate refers to the number of cases occurring over the total population times 100,000.
This means that with the higher the attack rate, more cases occurred, Reyes said, adding that attack rate is proportionate with the population.
For instance, Bacolod City has higher attack rate of 299.19 compared to that of Negros Occidental “because even though it has lower dengue cases than the province, its population is smaller.”
High attack rates were also noted in the provinces of Aklan, 156.60; Antique, 114.14; Iloilo City, 81.78; and Iloilo Province, 54.77.
Capiz and Guimaras registered an attack rate of only 40.66 and 20.84, respectively.
Comparing this year’s figures to the same period in 2016, DOH-6 noted a 64 percent drop in the total number of dengue cases in Western Visayas.
From January 1 to November 18 last year, the region had 25,461 dengue cases. In terms of deaths, there was also higher number of cases during the same period last year, 85.
For Negros Occidental alone, the DOH-Western Visayas noted a decrease of 35 percent with last year’s recorded dengue cases in the province reaching 5,890.
More death cases were also reported in the province the year before, 46.
Also based on the same morbidity week, Bacolod City also posted a decrease of 16 percent, having previous cases of 2,025.
“We continue to urge our local health offices to initiate the implementation of counter measures in their respective communities,” Reyes said
The DOH-Western Visayas official also appealed to the public to actively take part in the fight against the deadly virus.