Dengue cases in Bohol remained in the lower range compared to the record last year, but health officials continue to be on alert considering the three deaths recorded in the early part of the year.
Provincial health officer, Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot, said they only recorded 466 dengue cases with three deaths from January to July 4 this year provincewide.
The record last year reached 1,721 cases with seven deaths, still lower compared to the 3,590 cases with 26 deaths recorded in 2013.
At least five months are left of the year, and health officials want to minimize the increase of the dengue cases by disseminating more information on the preventive measures against the spread of dengue virus through the dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
For its part, the Department of Health (DOH)-7 sent a team of entomologists to check 11 towns of Bohol with high dengue cases.
Tessie Sarigumba, assistant coordinator of the PHO Technical Division on Dengue Cases said the team of entomologists from Negros Oriental sent by DOH-7 conducted an entomology surveillance from July 14 to July 17 in the towns of Bilar, Jagna, Garcia-Hernandez, Carmen, Guindulman, Dauis, Tubigon, Panglao, Cortes and Sagbayan, and Tagbilaran City.
Supposedly, Sagbayan was not included in the list of areas to be checked, but the recent report on the rising dengue cases in the town prompted its inclusion in the assessment.
Sarigumba, who is also a member of the PHO-Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, said the team from Negros Oriental conducted the entomology surveillance to determine what type of dengue-carrying mosquito thrives in Bohol.
Around 20 dengue cases have already been recorded in the town of Sagbayan as of July 4.
Marilou Tampos, public health nurse of the Rural Health Unit of Sagbayan, confirmed the reports, further saying that there have been 17 dengue cases already as of July 4 and three more had been added on July 15.
One more dengue patient from Catigbian had been admitted at the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital the following day.
Most of the patients from Sagbayan were students of St.Agustine Institute–a private school, and Sagbayan Central Elementary School, and San Agustin National High Schoolâ€”a public school.
San Agustin National High School Principal Nilo Samputon also said teachers noted a number of dengue cases among their students at the start of this month.
Samputon said the teachers could no longer ignore the sudden rise of dengue cases in their school and the absences of the students in class.
He said as of July 10, five of the students with dengue were admitted to Ramiro Community Hospital and five others were admitted to the DOH-run Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital in Tagbilaran City.
The RHU also noted that most of the dengue patients came from barangay Poblacion, Sagbayan.
The public health nurse said health officials and municipal officials of Sagbayan are checking the houses damaged during the earthquake that had been left unoccupied as possible areas that turned into breeding grounds of mosquitoes.
For his part, Sagbayan Municipal Sanitary Inspector Rudy Candia said they prioritize misting operations over other means to control the spread of dengue virus, before it becomes an outbreak.
The misting machines came from the DOH, he said.
Candia said they are also intensifying awareness campaign in the barangays.
Earlier, PHO noted that dengue cases recorded in the first quarter this year went up compared to last year of the same period.
Records by the Provincial Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (PESU) of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) shows that the number reached 387 dengue cases, 3 deaths and a case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.8 percent on January 1â€“May 9 this year.
In the same period last year, the PHO only recorded 314 cases, 1 death and 0.3 percent CFR.(Angeline Valencia)