The Provincial Health Office(PHO) has recorded 1,278 dengue cases from January 1 to October 20, 2018 and 10 dengue deaths in the same period, causing alarm among local health authorities and prompting the agency to boost its campaign against the dreaded mosquito-borne disease.
The figure in the almost 10-month span is already higher than the number of dengue cases tallied by the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU) in 2017 which was at 1,028.
PHO dengue program coordinator Leonidas Saniel ascribed deaths caused by dengue to late recognition of the disease in patients and delayed receipt of medical attention by dengue-stricken individuals.
“Kung pwede ipada sa doctor, pagka sunod ugma dayon ipa tan-aw sa doctor. Basta di palapason duha ka adlaw. Kay aron di maawahi tanan kay naay uban unya-unyaon pa,” he said.
According to Saniel, the PHO has intensified its efforts to prevent dengue cases particularly through intensive information campaigns held across the province.
“Karon na pagsaka g’yud, na-alarm na mi, among gihimo gi-focus namo ang style sa pag-educate. Instead na mga kapitan ra sa lungsod, among gi-agto sa lungsod mga lugar na naay hotspot, mga barrio na naay cases,” Saniel said.
Saniel noted that the PHO has also sought to address common misconceptions about dengue particularly the breeding of mosquitoes which carry the disease.
“Ang common na kompyansa sa mga taw, kaning mga sudlanan nila, wa sila kahibaw na itlog sa lamok manapot na sa baril or unsang klaseng sudlanan. Manapot na bisag way sud tong baril,” he said. “Posibleng mabuhi ang itlog sa lamok—mo-abot six months, bisan pag mo abot eight months.”
“So among hanyo nila, kung gamiton g’yud ninyo mga sudlanan, inyo gyud nang hinluan, brushan ang kilid. Unya kung butangan og tubig, takuban. Mao kana ang usa sa mga simple na pamaagi,” he added.
The Department of Health has been reminding the public of the 4S strategy against dengue which involves searching and destroying mosquito breeding places; securing self-protection; seeking early consultation; and supporting fogging and spraying in hotspot places.
For her part, City Health Officer Dr. Jeia Pondoc said that those who have fever for two days can be checked for dengue, noting that their office offers free rapid dengue testing.
Although the number of dengue cases recorded in 2018 has surpassed that of 2017, the figure is still less than half of the number of cases recorded in 2016 at 2,878.
The PHO recorded a 64.28-percent decrease in dengue cases tallied in 2017 compared with cases in 2016.