Cordillera dengue cases rise by 71 percent

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BAGUIO CITY  – Health authorities in the Cordillera increased by 71 percent for the first seven weeks of this year compared to the same period last year.

Based on the data from the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR), there were 957 dengue fever caws for the first 7 weeks of this year compared to the 560 dengue cases recorded regionwide during the same period last year.

Further, there were 3 reported dengue-related deaths that were also recorded in the region this year which matched the 3 deaths registered by the health department during the same period last year.

DOH-CAR officials noted clustering of dengue cases in some municipalities in Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province and that the same were seen to have exceeded the reported epidemic threshold which is a cause of alarm among health personnel in the said areas.

Health officials advised people in the different parts of the region to ensure that their immune system is strong by eating the right kind of food, having the right exercise and the right attitude toward dealing with whatever situation that will confront them to prevent them from acquiring the dreaded viral infection.

Dengue fever is caused by any of the 4 zero types of dengue virus wherein all strains are present in the Cordillera.

Health experts claimed that an infected day biting female aedes mosquito reportedly transmits the viral disease to humans and that dengue cases are reported throughout the year but usually the number increases during the rainy season.

According to them, the occurrence of dengue cases may reach widespread proportions if preventive measures of control are not taken by the individuals and the health authorities.

Among the dengue prevention and control measures include the search and destroy the breeding sites of dengue-carrying mosquitoes, seek early consultation once symptoms are evident, embrace self-protection measures and say no to indiscriminate fogging activities.

The symptoms of dengue fever are sudden high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, serve joint and muscle pains, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and skin rash which appears 2 to 5 days after the onset of fever.

Health officials advised people who experience the symptoms of dengue fever to immediately visit the nearest facility in their places for them to be provided with the appropriate diagnosis for their illness to prevent their health from being compromised by the viral infection considering that it could result to their untimely demise.

Sometimes, symptoms are mild and can be mistaken for those of the flu or another viral infection. Younger children and people who have never had the infection before tend to have milder cases than older children and adults. However, serious problems can develop. These include dengue hemorrhagic fever, a rare complication characterized by high fever, damage to lymph and blood vessels, bleeding from the nose and gums, enlargement of the liver, and failure of the circulatory system. The symptoms may progress to massive bleeding, shock, and death. This is called dengue shock syndrome.

By Dexter A. See

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