The Department of Health in Negros Oriental reported yesterday an upsurge of 143 percent in the number of dengue cases in the province as of July 16 compared to the same period last year.
Records show that from Jan. 1 to July 16, 2016, the dengue cases reported and recorded in the province totaled 1,229 as opposed to only 505 cases for the same period last year, Dr. Socrates Villamor, OIC chief, Local Health Support Division of the DOH-Negros Island Region, said.
Six deaths were reported in the province for the same period against only five deaths in 2015, he added.
The deaths were in Bais City with two cases, and one each from the cities of Dumaguete, Bayawan, Tanjay, and Guihulngan, he said.
Bais had recorded the highest number of dengue cases this year with 153, Villamor said.
The other cities and municipalities in the top 10 list with highest dengue cases are Bayawan, 146; Dumaguete, 134; Siaton, 82; Guihulngan, 74; Mabinay, 70; Sibulan, 68; Sta. Catalina, 60; Tanjay, 59; and Manjuyod, 41, DOH records showed.
Villamor pointed out that the surge in dengue cases in Negros Oriental appears to be a result of the long dry spell brought about by the El Niño phenomenon.
He said lack of preventive measures during the dry months could have aggravated the breeding sites of the dengue-carrier mosquitoes.
He reiterated the need to intensify information drives for the public to cooperate in eliminating mosquito-breeding sites.
There is still a possibility that the number of dengue cases in Negros Oriental would continue to rise in the coming months during the rainy season, Villamor warned.
He also stressed the role of barangay officials, who have been trained in previous years, to undertake massive information campaigns against the spread of dengue.
The public, meanwhile, is urged to cooperate by cleaning their homes and environments, emptying water receptacles and employing personal protective measures, such as wearing of appropriate clothing and the use of mosquito repellant lotion, among others.*JFP
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