BAGUIO CITY – Health authorities reported a 76 percent increase in dengue fever cases in the region for the first sixteen weeks of this year after it was able to register some 1,681 cases from January 1 to April 20, 2019 compared to the 957 cases recorded by the agency during the same period last year,
Karen Lonogan, senior health program officer of the Cordillera office of the Department of Health’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, said that there were 3 dengue-related deaths that were recorded by the agency for this year which was the same as the number of death during the same period last year.
Based on the data obtained from the DOH-CAR, Benguet recorded the highest number of dengue fever cases with 366 cases followed by Apayao with 364, Ifugao – 173 cases, Mountain Province – 1333 cases, and non-CAR provinces – 322 cases while the areas that recorded a decrease in dengue fever cases included Kalinga with 128 cases or 53 percent decrease compared to last year’s figures, Baguio City – 80 cases or 32 percent decrease and Abra – 115 or 4 percent lower than last year’s recorded number of dengue cases.
Lonogan claimed that there were 898 males who were afflicted with dengue fever which represents some 53 percent of the total number of individuals who contracted the dreaded viral disease.
On the other hand, she disclosed that the age range of the persons who contracted dengue were from 4 days to 98 years old with a median of 13 years.
According to her, clustering of dengue cases were noted in some municipalities in Abra, Apayao, Benguet and Mountain Province which were noted to have exceeded the epidemic threshold.
Health officials explained that dengue fever is caused by any of the 3 zero types of the dengue virus which are all reportedly present in the Cordillera, thus, the need for people to be wary of the presence of mosquitoes in their houses.
Dengue fever is caused by the female day-biting aedes mosquito which transmits the viral disease through humans.
Lonogan said that dengue cases are reported throughout the year but usually the number significantly increases during the rainy season wherein the same may reach widespread proportions if preventive measures of control are not taken by the people.
Among the dengue prevention and control measures include the observance of the prescribed steps which are the search and destroy breeding ground of dengue carrying mosquitoes that are often clear and stagnant water; self-protection measures; seek early consultation and say yeast to fogging only during impending dengue outbreaks in certain areas.
Symptoms of dengue fever usually begin four to six days after infection and last for up to 10 days, may include sudden, high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, skin rash, which appears two to five days after the onset of fever and mild bleeding (such a nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising).
By Dexter A. See