TACLOBAN CITY – Dengue fever cases continue to rise sharply here in the region, killing 16 people and afflicting 2,982 others since January until this week, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
Roderick Boyd Cerro, chief of the DOH regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, said this year’s ballooning dengue fever cases is quite alarming.
“Number of cases increased by 228 percent compared to the same period last year. Dengue mortality rose by 300 percent this year compared to 2015,” Cerro said in a mobile phone interview.
Deaths have been reported in Catbalogan City and Catbalogan City; Maasin City; San Miguel, Abuyog, Baybay City, Palo, and Tanauan, all in Leyte; Borongan City; and San Vicente, Northern Samar.
Clustering of cases have been noted in Baybay City, Capoocan, Palo, Sta. Fe, Tacloban City, and Tolosa, all in Leyte; Guiuan and Lawaan, both in Eastern Samar; Lavezares in Northern Samar; Naval in Biliran; and Padre Burgos in Southern Leyte.
The DOH field office here sent a team of health workers to the island town of Sto. Niño in Samar to check as local authorities have reported of a dengue outbreak in their area.
“For areas with many dengue cases, our advice is to conduct fogging operation to kill any adult mosquitoes. This can be done once a week for three weeks to control the mosquito population,” Cerro added.
Other strategies of the health department to combat rising cases are intensified mosquito control efforts, coordinate with local government units in information drive, conduct fogging and larviciding in areas with clustering of cases, install dengue express lanes in hospitals, purchase and preposition of fluids.
Dengue fever is marked by an onset of sudden high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, and pain in muscles and joints. Some may also have a rash and varying degree of bleeding from various parts of the body.
Cerro urged those who suffer the symptoms to immediately seek consultation from local health workers to prevent deaths from this mosquito-borne disease.