BAGUIO CITY – Dengue fever cases in the region dropped by 83 percent for the first seven months of this year after registering a total of 1,023 cases compared to the 6,105 cases recorded by the health department during the same period last year.
Dra. Lakshmi Legaspi, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR), said fatalities due to dengue also dropped to only 2 individuals this year compared to the 7 deaths hat were reported during the same period last year.
Based on the data provided by the agency’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit (RESU), the dengue fever cases were from Kalinga – 312 cases, Benguet – 189 cases, Baguio City – 171 cases, Apayao – 109 cases, Ifugao – 86 cases, Abra – 54 cases, Mountain Province – 19 cases and non-CAR provinces – 83 cases.
Of the total number of affected individuals, the DOH-CAR reported that there were 597 males or 58.4 percent that were affected by the dreaded illness.
Further, the age range of the affected individuals was from 3 months to 92 years old with a median of 18 years old.
For July 2017 alone, there were 315 dengue suspects that were reported by the different rural health facilities which was 86 percent lower compared to the 2,331 cases that were registered during the same period last year.
The July dengue cases were from Kalinga – 118, Benguet – 65 cases, Baguio City – 64 cases, Apayao – 29 cases, Ifugao – 12 cases, Abra – 3 cases, Mountain Province – 1 case and non-CAR provinces – 23 cases.
According to the report, 54.9 percent of the affected individuals or 173 cases were males for July alone and the age range of the individuals was from 8 days to 81 years old with a median of 17 years old.
Legaspi revealed there were clustering of dengue fever cases in the various barangays of the region although the situation in the said areas were under control by the concerned health authorities.
Dengue fever is caused by any of the 4 serotypes of dengue virus and that all the strains are present in the Cordillera.
An infected day biting female aedes mosquito transmits the viral disease to humans who in turn should visit the nearest health facility at the early stages of the infection.
Legaspi predicted the number of dengue fever cases may peak during the rainy season and may reach widespread proportions if preventive measures of control are not taken.
She claimed dengue fever cases were in an increasing trend as observed in the past five years, thus, the need for the public to make sure that containers of clear and stagnant water that serve as the breeding ground of the dengue carrying mosquitoes are removed inside and outside their houses.
She appealed to the public to heed the advises of health workers in their areas so that they will be able to implement preventive measures to control the spread of the dreaded viral illness.
By Dexter A. See