The Department of Health in Negros Oriental is appealing to the public to help curtail the rising number of dengue cases in the province and to prevent an epidemic.
Describing it as already alarming, Dr. Socrates Villamor, provincial DOH chief, said Wednesday that as of July 7, the total number of dengue cases reported since January this year has doubled compared to the same period last year.
The cases reported by the three hospitals in Dumaguete totaled 453, while only 226 were reported in the same period in 2011 or a 100.44 percent increase in dengue admission, Villamor said.
Three fatalities were reported this year – one in Sibulan last January, one in Bacong last May and the third in Dumaguete this month.
Dumaguete has the highest number of dengue cases at 188, followed by Bayawan with 53, Tanjay, 30; Basay, 23; Bais and Sibulan, 17 each; Siaton, 16; Dauin and Valencia, 13 each; Bacong, 11; and La Libertad, 10.
The rest of the towns and cities in the province recorded less than 10 dengue cases each, with Bindoy and Vallehermoso having one case each.
Villamor said 2012 is supposedly not the year to watch out for an outbreak, but due to the unusual increase in the number of dengue cases in the first half of the year alone, health authorities are on the alert to prevent a further bloat in cases.
He attributed the uncharacteristic hike to the erratic weather conditions brought about by climate change, and the early arrival of the rainy season this year.
He stressed that prevention and control, particularly the strict observance of the DOH’s anti-dengue campaign strategy – the 4S – will certainly help stave off the rising incidence of dengue.
The 4S campaign stands for searching and destruction of breeding grounds of mosquitoes, seeking early consultation and treatment, employing self-protection measures like insect repellant lotions and the use of mosquito nets, and saying no to indiscriminate fogging.
Villamor suggested that residents be mobilized for clean-up drives against mosquito breeding places in their respective barangays.*
He added that dengue cases are expected to further increase as June to September is typically the rainy-season months.*JFP
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