LATE medical consultation and referral led to the increased number of dengue-related deaths in 2022 in Davao City, according to the Tropical and Nutrition Division of the City Health Office on Thursday, January 12.
Twelve deaths were recorded as of December 2022, which is double what was recorded the year before with six death cases in 2021.
Elizabeth Banzon, head of the Tropical and Nutrition Division, said it is a big possibility for dengue to lead to deaths if it isn’t prevented early.
"Most of them are late referrals. Kay nagtuo na self-medication lang unya on the fifth day, mag bleeding na (They thought self-medication would cure it but on the fifth day, the bleeding starts). Fourth, fifth, [and] sixth days of dengue are the critical days. So dapat within two days time pa lang, magpa-consult na (They should seek consultation as early as the second day),” Banzon said during the I-Speak media forum.
Of the 12 deaths last year, one death each was recorded in Barangays Sasa, Tibungco, Buhangin, Catalunan Pequeño, Balengaeng, Cabantian, Ma-a, and Barangay 76 while two deaths were recorded in Panacan and Angliongto.
Other areas in Davao City that are considered dengue hotspots are Talomo Poblacion, 74-A, Tacunan, Binugao Toril, 19-B, Ilang, Sirawan, Toril Proper, Barangays 19-B, 76-A, 31, and 32-C.
At the same time, the number of dengue cases also doubled in 2022 with 2,360 cases from 1,481 cases in 2021. The cases in 2022 were mostly young people ranging from two years old to 23 years old.
Banzon said the increase in cases may be attributed to multiple breeding grounds in the form of stagnant waters in containers found in residential areas.
"Nagtaas siya ang atong 2022 but our goal this 2023, kung pwede man lang maubsan (It increased in 2022 so our goal this 2023 is to lessen it). Pero kontrolado kay compared ato sa mga previous years, pinakataas gyod nato before is 10,000 cases (But the cases are controlled compared to the past years when we had a high of 10,000 cases)," she said.
One of the interventions seen to prevent the further rise of dengue cases is to target the breeding sites, following Executive Order No. 33 Series of 2019 “An order creating the Davao City Inter-Agency Task Force on mosquito-borne viral diseases prevention and control.”
Once implemented on a wider scale, a monitoring team will visit households per barangay to address old tires and similar containers that could become breeding sites for dengue-carrying mosquitoes. Those storing such containers may also be penalized.
Symptoms of dengue include fever for five to seven days with intense headache, joint and muscle pain, rash, loss of appetite, vomiting, high fever, headache, and abdominal pain. ICM