BAGUIO CITY – Five individuals, including three minors, died due to the dreaded dengue fever during the first five months of this year compared to only one dengue-related death during the same period last year.
Dra. Amelita M. Pangilinan, assistant regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR), said that aside from the 400 percent increase in dengue-related deaths, there was also a 142 percent increase in the number of reported dengue fever cases regionwide in the first five months of this year compared to the same period last year.
She revealed that the dengue-related fatalities were a 53-year old male from Pilar, Abra; a 3-year old female from Tabuk City, Kalinga; a 5-year old female from Tabuk City, Kalinga; a 33-year old male from Tuba, Benguet and a 46-year old male from Tinoc, Ifugao.
“Dengue fever is now a year-round illness that is why it is best for us to frequently get rid of containers of clear and stagnant water in our houses and backyards in order to prevent the multiplication of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes that will eventually infect us in case we do not do our job,” Pangilinan stressed.
The DOH-CAR official disclosed the clustering of reported dengue fever cases in barangays Poblacion, Bokod; Poblacion Central, Paykek and Datacan in Kapangan; Poblacion, Balili, Bahong and Bineng in La Trinidad, all in Benguet; Pinsao, Engineer’s Hill, Loakan Proper, Hillside, Bakakeng Central and Irisan in Baguio City and Bulanao in Tabuk City, Kalinga.
Baguio City recorded the highest increase in dengue fever cases with a 5-fold increase from 76 cases last year to 488 cases for the first five months of this year, while Benguet also registered a 3-fold increase from 127 dengue cases last year to 5526 dengue cases this year.
Mountain Province came in third with a 92 percent increase from 13 cases last year to 25 cases this year. Kalinga registered a 61 percent increase in dengue fever cases this year with 191 cases compared to 119 cases during the same period last year.
Apayao had a 58 percent increase with 133 cases for the first five months of this year compared to the 84 cases during the same period last year, while those coming from outside the Cordillera registered a 56 percent increase with 75 dengue cases this year compared to the 48 cases last year.
Ifugao recorded a 39 percent increase with 43 cases this year compared to the 31 cases last year. It is only Abra that recorded a decrease in dengue cases from 138 cases last year to only 62 cases this year, an equivalent to a 55 percent decline.
Pangilinan urged the public and health workers for a stronger coordination of all sectors to help in intensifying the 4-S campaign against dengue fever, chikungunya, zika and Japanese encephalitis, and also to conduct at least weekly clean-up drive, especially in areas that have clustering for almost two weeks.
Dengue fever and the more severe form, dengue hemorrhagic fever, is caused by any of the four symptoms of dengue virus that comes in four types. An infected day-biting female Aedes mosquito transmits the viral disease to humans.