Dengue cases surge alarming: councilor

Photo credit to Pixabay
Photo credit to Pixabay

DURING her privilege speech on Tuesday morning, September 26, at the Sanguniang Panglungsod, Second District Councilor Richlyn N. Justol-Baguilod, who chairs the Committee on Health, says the surge in dengue cases and influenza-like illnesses in Davao City is alarming.

Justol-Baguilod said the significant increase in dengue cases from January to August this year affected around 1,500 individuals compared to the 1,052 reported cases in 2022. 

“Equally disheartening is the fact that we have lost 28 lives during this period, most of them children between the ages of four and seven. This represents a substantial increase in mortality rates when compared to the same timeframe last year when we reported 13 Dengue-related fatalities,” Justol-Baguilod said.

To address this concern, the City Government of Davao issued Executive Order 33 Series of 2019, mandating the establishment of a Mosquito-Borne Viral Disease Task Force in each barangay to reduce dengue incidents.

She also emphasized the impact of influenza-like illnesses in Davao City, with 18,656 reported cases. These illnesses, characterized by symptoms like chills, fever, dry cough, loss of appetite, nausea, sneezing, and body aches, tend to proliferate during the rainy season.

“The public must be reminded to diligently follow minimum health protocols, which include regular hand washing, thorough disinfecting, and the use of face masks in public places. This is especially crucial within educational institutions, where our youth gather,” she said.

Regional data from the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit-Davao Region revealed 12,861 reported Dengue cases in Davao Region from January 1 to September 09, resulting in 51 deaths — a 219 percent increase in fatalities and a 166 percent surge in cases compared to 2022.

In Davao City, the surveillance unit reported around 4,809 cases and 16 deaths in 2023, up from 2,385 cases and two deaths in 2022.

Assistant Regional Director Gerna M. Manatad of the Department of Health-Davao Region (DOH-Davao Region), in a media interview on Wednesday, September 27, said that they are collaborating with the Local Government Unit (LGU) to conduct fogging and misting operations. She also reported a recent decline in cases in late September, thanks to the active efforts of the LGU.

“We are thankful for our Local Government Unit (LGU) for actively talaga implementing actions so we can prevent sa tuloy-tuloy talaga na pagsaka sa mga kaso (in preventing the rising cases),” Manatad said.

Despite the decrease, Manatad underscored the need to maintain vigilance. Preventative programs must continue to mitigate the risk of further increases in reported cases.

She also said the DOH intensifies its monitoring efforts on influenza-like illnesses, with hospitals instructed to promptly report significant increases in these illnesses to the DOH.

To combat these diseases, DOH promotes proper handwashing, building resistance to viruses through a balanced diet and exercise, and advocating for vaccinations, especially for the elderly and children. RGP

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