BAGUIO CITY – Twenty-one people reportedly died after having contracted the dreaded dengue fever virus as the number of cases continue to increase from January 1 to September 10, 2016.
Dra. Amelita Pangilinan, assistant regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR), said the number of deaths this year is more than double the 9 dengue-related deaths during the same period last year while there were already some 8,183 dengue suspects that were recorded this year compared to the 6,522 cases last year or a 25 percent increase.
Benguet recorded the highest increase in dengue cases with a 246 percent rise following the recording of 3,606 cases compared to the 1,042 cases during the reckoning period. Baguio City came in second with a 202 percent increase after it recorded 2,279 cases this year compared to the 754 cases last year while Ifugao registered a 71 percent increase with 800 cases this year compared to the 467 cases last year.
On the other hand, Kalinga recorded the highest decrease in the number of dengue cases with only 411 cases this year compared to the 1,866 cases last year followed by non-CAR areas with a 59 percent decrease with 229 cases this year compared to 553 cases last year.
Further, Abra registered a 56 percent decrease with 296 cases this year compared to the 673 dengue cases last year, while Apayao and Mountain Province recorded an identical 52 percent decrease with 319 cases this year compared to 663 cases last year and 243 cases this year compared to 504 cases last year, respectively.
Pangilinan revealed the age range of those who contracted the dreaded dengue fever is 1-month-old to 91 years old with males accounting for 53.6 percent of the cases while females accounted for 46.4 percent of the total number of recorded cases.
“Dengue is curable that is why people suffering from flu-like symptoms must immediately seek early medical consultation for them to be given the proper advise on what to do to prevent their situation from worsening that could lead to their untimely death,” Pangilinan stressed.
According to her, dengue is now a year-round illness and the best way to prevent the proliferation of the dengue-carrying mosquito is to remove their breeding areas which are clear and stagnant water thus residents must get rid of water containers and flower vases inside and outside their homes the soonest.
Pangilinan explained dengue has four strains and once an individual contracted the first strain, he or she can still contract the second, third and fourth strains. The fourth is the worst strain as it could result in the untimely death of an infected person, thus, the need for everyone to strengthen their immune system by eating the right kind of food and observing cleanliness in their backyard.
The DOH-CAR official exhorted everyone has an important role in the campaign against dengue because of the need to maintain cleanliness right inside their respective residences to rid the breeding places of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes and prevent their reproduction.
By Dexter A. See