Dengue woes adding stress to Baguio’s COVID-battered health system

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The mushrooming cases of dengue fever in the city has added strain to the city’s health care system already battered by the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We have lots of challenges ahead because as we continue to have COVID-19 cases amid the looming threat of the more harmful variants, we are also faced with increasing cases of dengue which is taking toll on our hospital care system,” the mayor said.

“We need to significantly reduce our dengue cases in preparation for the Delta variant. We are definitely going to get hit.  It is just a matter of time,” he added.

He said he had requested the Dept. of Health for funding for augmentation of the city’s supplies to fight the mosquito-borne disease.

He also urged the City Health Services Office (CHSO), the barangays and residents to double their efforts in fighting dengue.

SLU Hospital of the Sacred Heart Medical Director Dr. Paul Quitiquit said hospitals in the city are now swamped by dengue cases.

He said SLUHSH admitted 80 cases in the last six weeks with at least two cases per day.

“We predict this to increase further in the weeks to come specially with the start of the rainy season.  We have our hands full with COVID and now with dengue. We anticipate already shortage in rooms and shortage of platelets for severe dengue cases.  May we also look on how we can address this problem so we can prepare already for the possible increase,” he said.

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said they have begun mobilizing the barangays to conduct inspection and elimination of mosquito breeding places.

They will also intensify the information education communication (IEC) campaign on 4S strategy in Dengue Prevention and Control: search and destroy mosquito breeding places; self-protection measures (use window screens, mosquito nets, wear protective clothing and use insect repellents); seek early consultation; and say no to indiscriminate fogging.

The city has a total of 416 dengue cases from Jan. 1 to July 17 this year with five deaths.

City Epidemiologist Dr. Donnabel Panes said this is a three-fold increase from last year’s 103 cases.

Clustering of cases has been noted in 19 barangays. – Aileen P. Refuerzo

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