BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) reported a 138 percent increase in dengue fever cases in the region from January 1 to April 2, 2016 compared to the dengue cases recorded by the agency during the similar period last year.
DOH statistics show that for this year, there were a total of 1068 dengue cases with 4 deaths recorded during the prescribed period this year compared to the 448 dengue cases with 1 death during the same period last year.
The top three areas in the Cordillera with the highest dengue cases were in Baguio with 351 followed by Benguet with 332 and Kalinga with 147 suspects. While clustering cases were noted in Barangay San Luis Village of Baguio City, some barangays in Benguet namely Poblacion, Bokod; Virac, Itogon; Balili and La Trinidad and Bulanao, Tabuk City in Kalinga with ages ranging from four months to 91 years where in males were more affected.
Four fatalities were also reported, a 53-year old male from Pilar, Abra , a three and five year old females from Tabuk City Kalinga, and a 33 year old male from Tuba Benguet. Abra decreased its cases by 54 percent and had the least number of cases of 44 from 96 dengue cases last year. Thus, the continuous cooperation and coordination of all sectors were encouraged to help in intensifying the 4-S campaign against dengue, chikungunya and zika.
Department of Health (DOH) CAR assistant regional director, Dr. Amelita Pangilinan said that dengue vaccines are already present in three regions that may help decrease the number of dengue cases especially to prevent deaths from this disease. The DOH is hoping that the vaccines will have an impact on decreasing dengue here in CAR.
With these high increase of dengue cases, DOH CAR informed and provided a copy of the weekly morbidity report to PESUs and PDOHOs recommending provincial and municipal LGU’s to continuously investigate clustering of dengue cases in their area and report suspect cases to local health authority immediately while the Provincial/City Health Offices intensifies IEC campaign on search and destroy operation against mosquitos specifically in Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, mountain Province and Kalinga who have clustering cases. A conduction of prevention and control activities on dengue, chikungunya and zika cases are also being practiced and maintaining the practice of 4-S: Search and destroy, Seek immediate consultation, Self -protection measures and Say YES to fogging when there is impending outbreak.
Pangilinan also advises everyone to increase awareness for the food we eat, to wash our hands often, and to always clean our surroundings especially places where mosquitos may occupy not to only avoid dengue but other diseases as well especially that summer is now approaching . Prevention and cure of these diseases is the primary goal of DOH hoping for a zero case in CAR.
By Breach Belle L. Chinayo