BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) reported that dengue fever cases drastically increased by 87 percent for the first 17 weeks of this year with a total of 903 cases regionwide compared to the 484 cases for the same period last year.
Geeny Anne. I. Austria, a nurse at the DOH-CAR’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, said there are 3 deaths recorded due to dengue this year, 2 children from Baguio and La Trinidad while 1 death came from Pangasinan compared to the single dengue-related death recorded during the same period last year.
Based on the data obtained from the DOH-CAR, of all the dengue fever cases recorded in the region this year, 266 (29.5%) came from Kalinga, 195 cases (21.6%) from Benguet; 104 cases (11.5%) from Baguio City; 76 cases (8.4%) from Apayao; 67 cases (7.4%) from Abra; 24 cases (2.7%) each from Ifugao and Mountain Province; and 147 cases (16.7%) from non-CAR provinces.
Austria added there were around 5-3 males afflicted with dengue fever or 55.7 percent of the total number of reported dengue cases regionwide with age range from 3 months to 89 years old or a median of 17 years old.
She warned the public on the importance of observing cleanliness inside and outside their residences, especially with the daily afternoon rains, and for them to ensure that clear and stagnant water which are the primordial breeding ground of dengue-carrying mosquitoes are removed to prevent the increase in the population of the female aedis mosquito.
According to her, people suffering from influenza-like illnesses should immediately consult health authorities in the nearest health facilities so that their health concerns will be given the proper diagnosis and to prevent the said individuals from contracting the dreaded illness that might compromise their health condition in the future.
The DOH-CAR official warned the public not to self-medicate when suffering from influenza-like illnesses considering as it is still best to consult health experts in the nearest health facility for proper diagnosis of their illnesses, instead of compromising their health through self-medication.
She claimed the four stains of dengue are present in the region thus the need for people to be vigilant of their health so that they can be given timely appropriate medical attention by health workers in their places.
From the previous cyclical trend, Austria explained dengue fever has now become a year-round illness so the best way for people to prevent the multiplication of the dengue-carrying mosquito in their places is to maintain cleanliness in their surroundings.
Austria noted that there were also clustering of dengue cases in several barangays in Baguio City and Tabuk City, Kalinga over the past several weeks and community health teams have been mobilized by the regional and provincial health offices to address the health concerns of the people in the affected areas and to prevent the escalation of the problem to epidemic proportions that might result to more serious problems not only for the residents but also for the health authorities.
By Dexter A. See