BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera Office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR reported a 72 percent decrease in dengue fever cases region-wide after it was able to record only 208 cases during the first four weeks of this year compared to the 759 cases documented by the agency during the same period last year.
Based on the data obtained from the DOH-CAR’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit (RESU), the number of dengue-related deaths during the first 4 weeks of this year dropped to 1 compared to the 3 recorded deaths during the same period last year.
The reported dengue cases this year were from Benguet – 92 or 13 percent increase; Apayao – 36 or 70 percent decrease; Kalinga -27 or 59 percent decrease; Baguio City – 26 or 7 percent decrease; Abra and Ifugao – 4 or 93 percent decrease each; Mountain Province – 1 or 97 percent decrease and non-CAR provinces – 18 or 93 percent decrease.
Health authorities disclosed that there were 131 males who were afflicted with the illness which is equivalent to 63 percent of the total number of cases that were documented.
According to the RESU report, the age range of the dengue-afflicted individuals was from 10 months to 84 years old with a median of 20 years old.
Further, health authorities also noted clustering of dengue fever cases in the provinces of Apayao, Benguet and Kalinga.
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.
By Dexter A. See