Dengue fever casualties double this year

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BAGUIO CITY   – The Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR) reported that the number of deaths due to the dreaded dengue fever doubled to 22 from January 1 to November 16, 2019, compared to the 11 dengue-related deaths during the same period last year.

Based on the data obtained from the DOH-CAR’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit (RESU), there were some 8,818 dengue suspect cases reported by the different district rural health units regionwide from January 1 to November 16, 2019, which is 9 percent higher compared to the 8,065 dengue cases recorded during the same period last year.

Health officials claimed that clustering of cases were noted in the different parts of the region wherein some municipalities in the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao and Mountain Province were noted to exceed the epidemic or alert threshold.

Previously, dengue fever usually followed 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 which are all 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 searching and destroying 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 forgoing in the neighbourhood.

However, health officials claimed that dengue fever is curable, provided that, individuals infected with the dreaded illness are given appropriate medical attention the earliest possible time as one of the serious negative effects of the illness is the significant decline in the blood platelets of people acquiring the said illness.

Aside from prolonged high fever, individuals with dengue fever often have dark spots on their skin which is 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 undergoing surveillance by health authorities in the different parts of the region as the same 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.

Dengue patients are usually advised to hydrate themselves with different kinds of fluids to help strengthen their immune system to combat the effects of the illness, especially that they can easily acquire any of the dengue strains once they get sick with dengue.

By Dexter A. See