Cordillera dengue fever cases up by 5 percent

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BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) announced that dengue fever cases in the region increased by only 5 percent last year after recording a total of 9,352 cases compared to the 8,904 cases registered by the agency during the previous year.

Based on the data obtained from the DOH-CAR’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit (RESU), there were 22 dengue-related deaths last year compared to the only 13 deaths the previous year which alarmed health authorities in the different disease reporting units in the region.

The DOH-CAR was also able to record clustering of dengue fever cases in the different parts of the region aside from the fact that some municipalities in Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao and Mountain Province were noted to have exceeded the epidemic or alert threshold, thus, close monitoring of the dengue fever cases in the said areas are now being undertaken by the concerned health offices to prevent the further escalation of the dreaded viral illness.\

Previously, dengue fever usually follows a cyclic trend but to date, dengue has become a year-round illness that poses a serious threat to the lives of people who are not immediately provided with immediate medical attention.

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

Experts disclosed that an infected day biting female aedes mosquito transmits the viral disease to humans and that such type of mosquito thrives in clear and stagnant water.

According to health officials, dengue fever cases are reported throughout the year but usually the number significantly increases during the rainy season that could reach widespread proportions if preventive measures of control are not immediately undertaken.

Among the dengue prevention and control measures include the search and destruction of the breeding ground of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes, embracing self-protection measures to prevent persons from being bitten by the dengue-carrying mosquitoes, seeking early consultations when suffering from two days of continuous fever and saying no to indiscriminate fogging in the neighborhood.

However, health officials claim dengue fever is curable, provided that, individuals infected with the dreaded illness will be given appropriate medical attention the earliest possible time considering that one of the serious negative effects of the illness is the significant decline in the blood platelets of dengue victims.

Aside from prolonged high fever, individuals suffering from dengue fever often have dark spots on their skin, an indication that the illness is in an advance stage that warrants immediate medical attention to prevent the untimely demise of patients.

Dengue is one of the dreaded illness under surveillance by health authorities in the different parts of the region as it is deadly once patients will not be provided with immediate medical attention or brought to the nearest medical health facility for the provision of appropriate health care.

By Dexter A. See