The Department of Health warned that dengue remains to be a major threat among Filipinos even as this year’s figures is represent a 21 percent slide in the number of cases compared to last year. Health Sec. Francisco Duque III said that the mosquito-borne disease is still a problem because the National Capital Region, Region 4A, and the Cordillera region are severely affected.
BY ACE ALEGRE
BAGUIO CITY (246 kms. north of Manila) – Dengue remains to be a major threat among Filipinos even as this year’s figures is better than that of last year, the Department of Health (DoH) said last September 21.
”(It) is still a national threat,” Health Sec. Francisco Duque III told reporters after completing his visits of hospitals and schools here since Wednesday.
Although there is a 21 percent slide this year from last year’s 25,350 cases nationwide, the mosquito-borne disease is still a problem because the National Capital Region, Region 4A, and the Cordillera region is severely affected by it, he said.
Duque said we have only at least 16,634 cases this year.
The average global burden of dengue is pegged at 100 million people.
In the Cordillera, Duque and the region’s health officials admitted that there is a doubling of cases from only 700 in 2005 to 1,413 this year. Most of these cases were found in Baguio City.
Although, Duque was happy to note that there is a very low fatality rate in the Cordillera region at .07 percent or only 1 death from January to September this year. “Your case management of dengue is exceptional and phenomenal,” he said.
Only the populous Irisan barangay is placed by the DoH here at “code red”, meaning for the past four months, there is an upsurge of dengue cases and was higher than what health officials expected.
A few other villages in this highland resort city is placed only in “code yellow” meaning, minimal reports.
But still Cordillera was placed under “code red” because of the surge of reports of cases, and Duque ordered health officials here to continue monitoring and fighting the disease.
The health department has issued a health advisory around the country. Called 4-S against dengue, the advisory urged all health stakeholders including local government units to “search and destroy”
breeding places of mosquitoes such as old tires, coconut husks, roof gutters, discarded bottles, flower vases and other containers that can hold clean, stagnant water.
Duque claimed that unlike other infectious diseases, a person could be afflicted with dengue over and over again. No one is safe from dengue, he explained as he said he was afflicted in 1999.
There is also no particular age group and social status that could be infected but most vulnerable are people living in the slums where there are many breeding grounds of dengue-bearing mosquitoes.
The DoH also advised those living in affected areas to wear long sleeve shirts and long pants and to use mosquito repellants especially during day time.
Duque said we should seek early consultations when signs such as fever and rashes appear.
He also warned against indiscriminate fogging except for a dengue outbreak because there are complications on people’s respiratory systems. (Bulatlat.com)