BAGUIO CITY – Health authorities in the region reported a 75 percent increase in the recorded dengue fever cases for the first nine weeks of this year compared to the same period last year.
Geeny Anne Austria, Nurse V of the DOH-CAR’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, said that for the first 9 weeks of the year, there were 582 dengue cases recorded by the different health facilities regionwide compared to the 332 dengue fever cases that were reported during the same period last year.
The recorded dengue fever cases were from Kalinga with 178 cases followed by Benguet with 130 cases, Baguio City – 71 cases, Apayao – 59 cases, Abra – 43 cases, Ifugao – 16 cases, Mountain Province – 10 cases and non-CAR provinces – 75 cases.
Austria reported that there were 2 dengue-related deaths in the region this year, 1 from CAR and 1 non-CAR provinces, compared to the 1 dengue-related death last year.
Based on the data obtained from the DOH-CAR, there were 321 males who were affected by the illness which represents 55.2 percent of the total number of recorded dengue cases.
The age range of those dengue afflicted individuals was from 3 months to 83 years old with a median of 17 years old.
Austria claimed there were laboratory confirmed dengue virus serotype per province by municipality from 2014 to 2018 and clustering of cases were noted in various parts of the region.
According to her, last year was the end of the 5-year period where the reported dengue cases was at its lowest, thus, the need for the people to continue to maintain cleanliness in their houses and backyards by ensuring that there will be no breeding ground of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes such as clear and stagnant water to avoid the multiplication of the day-biting mosquitos.
Dengue is caused by any of the 4 serotypes of dengue virus which are all present in the different parts of the region.
An infected day-biting female mosquito transmits the viral disease to humans, thus, the need for people to wear the appropriate clothings to prevent the mosquito from being able to transmit the illness.
Austria warned the public that the number of dengue fever cases may peak during the rainy season and may reach widespread proportions if preventive measures of control are not being taken not only by the health authorities but also the people living in the different parts of the region.
Previously, dengue fever was considered to be a cyclical illness but for the past several years, it became a year-round disease that pose a serious threat to the affected individuals once the needed health interventions will not be embraced by the affected persons.
Health experts called on the individuals suffering from influenza-like symptoms to immediately seek the advise of health personnel in the nearest health facilities in their places so that appropriate medication will be provided them to prevent the illness from reaching unmanageable proportions that could result to the untimely death of persons.
By Dexter A. See