BAGUIO CITY Four people died after having afflicted with the dreaded dengue fever in the Cordillera for the first six months of this year compared to the lone dengue-related death during the same period.
Geeny Anne I. Austria, Nurse V of the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, said that due to the prevailing rainy season, dengue fever is again on the rise in the region after the recording of some 1,540 cases this year compared to the 7000 dengue cases registered for the same period last year which is a staggering 120 percent increase.
Of the total number of dengue-related deaths this year, there were 3 deaths from the Cordillera and 1 death from non-CAR provinces.
Based on the data obtained from the RESU, the dengue cases came from Kalinga with 333 cases or 21.6 percent of the total number of recorded cases, Benguet with 332 cases or 21.6 percent, Apayao – 240 or 15.6 percent, Baguio City – 165 cases or 10.7 percent, Abra 154 cases or 10 percent, Ifugao – 47 cases or 3.1 percent, Mountain Province – 41 cases or 2.7 percent and non-CAR provinces – 228 or 14.8 percent.
She added that there were 842 males who were afflicted by the dreaded illness representing 54.7 percent of the total number of recorded cases and that their age range of those who contracted dengue is from 3 months to 89 years old with a median of 17 years old.
The DOH-CAR reported that there were reported clustering of dengue cases in Abra, Apayao, Baguio, Benguet and Kalinga but health authorities were able to immediately respond to the situation and control the potential outbreak of the illness once it was not given the necessary attention.
Previously, dengue was classified to be undergoing a cyclical trend but because of the effects of climate change, dengue is now a year-round illness which must be given the proper attention by health authorities in the provinces.
Dengue is caused by any of the 3 zero types of dengue virus wherein all strains are present in the Cordillera.
An infected day-biting female aedes mosquito transmit the viral disease to humans that is why one of the proposed interventions by the health workers to residents is for them to clear their homes from clear and stagnant water to prevent the said type of mosquito from multiplying and posing a serious threat to the health of the people living in the said houses.
Health officials warned residents regionwide that the number of dengue fever cases could peak during the rainy season and may reach widespread portions if preventive measures of control are not taken into consideration, thus, people must maintain the highest degree of cleanliness in their houses and backyards to prevent the possible multiplication of the dengue-carrying mosquito.
The DOH-Car and the different provincial, city and municipal health offices continue to provide the residents with the needed advisories on the prevailing trend of diseases that could pose a serious threat to their health once not given the immediate and appropriate medical attention by experts.
By Dexter A. See