City health authorities are alarmed over the over three hundred percent increase in dengue fever cases for the first six and a half months this year aggravated by the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Dr. Donabel Tubera-Panes, Medical Officer IV and head of the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) of the City Health Services office, disclosed that a total of 416 dengue fever cases were reported in the city from January 1 to July 17 this year which is 3-fold increase compared with the same period last year where there were 103 cases that were recorded.
She claimed that the age range of the dengue fever cases in the city is from 8 months to 90 years old with the median pegged at 25 years.
Further, there were equal number of males and females infected with the deadly virus which has a cyclic trend.
Panes reported that 15 percent of the dengue fever cases belong to the 15-19 age group.
Moreover, majority or 58.9 percent of the reported dengue fever cases were seen and admitted at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC), 20.2 percent were treated at the Saint Louis University (SLU) Hospital of the Sacred heart, 7.2 percent were given medication at the Baguio Medical Center, 7.5 percent were attended by health personnel of the Pines City Doctors’ Hospital, 4.6 percent were admitted at the Notre Dame de Chartres Hospital, 0.5 percent were treated at the Pacdal and Atok district health centers and 0.5 percent were also treated at the Scout Barrio district health center.
According to her, there were 5 dengue-related mortalities recorded in the city three of whom were males and 2 were females, with 2 of the fatalities coming from barangay Camp 8 and 1 each from barangays Loakan Proper, Victoria Village and Sto. Tomas Proper.
The medical officer disclosed that the increase in dengue fever cases embraced a cyclic trend that is why based on the established cycle, the increase in the number of cases was supposed to happen last year, thus, the recorded increase in cases this year had been expected.
Panes urged residents to sustain the practice of the search and destroy the breeding ground of dengue carrying mosquitoes such as the clear and stagnant water containers, seek early medical consultations with health experts, employ self-protection measures such as wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts and daily use of insect repellants and support fogging or spraying only in hot spot areas where increase in cases has been reported over the past 2 weeks to prevent impending outbreaks.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection found in tropical and sub-tropical climates worldwide mostly in urban and semi-urban areas. The virus responsible for causing dengue is called dengue virus where there are 4 zero types that is why it is possible that an individual can be infected four times.
Symptoms of the virus include fever and any among nausea, vomiting, rashes, itches and pains such as eye pain typically behind the eyes, muscles, joint or bone pain among others. Symptoms of dengue typically lasts 2 to 7 days and that most people infected with dengue will recover after about a week. By Dexter A. See