PALO, Leyte – Dengue fever has already killed 13 people from the region and afflicted 2,587 others covering the first seven months of the year, the Department of Health has reported.
DOH Regional Director Minerva Molon said the number of cases has increased 223 percent compare to the same period in 2015.
The drastic rise, however, is not very alarming considering that the region’s morbidity rate from the mosquito-borne disease was very low last year, Molon stressed.
In the entire 2015, the region only recorded four deaths and 800 cases.
“Dengue cases have been breaching the alert and epidemic threshold in most weeks of the current year. As the rainy season has officially started, it is anticipated that cases will continue to occur and epidemics of dengue may happen,” Molon said.
From January to July 2016, two deaths have been reported each in Catbalogan City, Maasin City and San Miguel town in Leyte.
The DOH confirmed single fatality each in Abuyog, Baybay City, Palo, and Tanauan, all in Leyte; Borongan City; Calbayog City and San Vicente, Northern Samar.
Dengue victims ranged from one month to 81 years old, but most of them are within the age bracket of five to nine years old.
Of the 2,587 dengue victims in the region, 1,164 were in Leyte, 673 in Eastern Samar, 414 in Samar, 181 in Northern Samar, 78 in Biliran, and 77 in Southern Leyte.
Among the strategies design by the DOH to combat the rising cases of dengue fever include intensified mosquito control efforts, coordination with local government units in information drive, conduct fogging and larviciding in areas with clustering of cases, install dengue express lanes in hospitals and purchase and preposition of fluids.
“Likewise, we have been distributing insecticide-treated mosquito nets in schools and pediatric wards of hospitals to increase protection for our children,” Molon added.
Dengue-infected persons suffer high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting and swollen glands or rash. (SARWELL Q.MENIANO)