>> Monday, August 29, 2011
Dengue claimed 43 more lives in northern and Central Luzon even as officials sought measures to stop or abate the dreaded disease.
In Cagayan Valley, a six-year-old kindergarten pupil from Ramon town in Isabela was the latest to succumb to dengue, bringing to 21 the number of fatalities of the mosquito-borne disease in the region since January this year.
This year’s fatalities, a three-fold increase from the same period last year, included three minors from Echague town in Isabela, which has accounted for the biggest number of dengue cases in the region.
Marianne Lyn de Laza, head of the Department of Health’s regional epidemiology unit, attributed most of the dengue deaths to “late medical consultation” by the victims’ parents.
According to the unit’s records, there had been a 164 percent increase in dengue cases –2,718 cases from last January from 1,015 cases during the same period last year. Half of the victims are children aged 13 and below.
Latest DOH reports show Isabela has had 926 cases, with 14 deaths; followed by Batanes with 708 cases and one death; Nueva Vizcaya, 552 and three deaths; Cagayan, 471 and two deaths; and Quirino, 232 and one death.
Batanes was earlier placed under a state of calamity due to the dreaded diseases, which claimed the life of a nine-month-old girl from Basco town, the first dengue fatality in the tiny island province.
In Vigan City, Ilocos Sur Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson convened all town officials and local health authorities to an emergency consultative conference dubbed as “Dengue Summit” last week to seriously address the spread of the disease that has claimed 12 lives.
Earlier, Singson had placed Ilocos Sur under a state of calamity to enable the provincial government to avail itself of funds to come to the aid of afflicted rural folk.
In the conference, anti-dengue provincial health team leader Benjamin Castillo said a total of 2,293 dengue victims were undergoing treatment in local clinics and hospitals as of Aug. 18, with 12 deaths recorded. Last Aug. 16, the number of cases was only 1,784.
The number of cases so far, according to Castillo, is 370 percent more than last year’s.
In Ilocos Norte, Laoag City was placed earlier under state of calamity due to dengue outbreak, with more than 250 cases recorded since January, with eight deaths.
In Alfonso Lista, Ifugao, Myrna Ancheta, public health nurse of the rural health unit said a 7-year old boy from barangay Potia died recently as the dengue cases rose to 142 last week.
Ancheta said that for this year, there are no cases in January, four in February, two in March; one each for April and May, 40 in June and 140 for July.
The neighboring town of Aguinaldo had 63 cases. In the other towns, Lamut had 28, Lagawe and Mayoyao, five each; Asipulo-4; Kiangan 3; Banaue-2; Hungduan-1 for a total of 253. Hingyon and Tinoc had zero cases.
In Abra, health authorities reported a decrease of 54% in dengue cases for this year from January to August 2011.
Virginia Lalin, coordinator for the provincial epidemiology surveillance unit and Marilou P. Briosos, coordinator for the provincial dengue program of the integrated provincial health office, reported dengue cases in Abra decreased to 133 cases for January to August 2011 from 277 cases covering the same period last year.
Last year, all 27 municipalities in the province had dengue cases. This year, there were three municipalities with zero reported cases: Daguioman, Manabo and San Juan.
In San Mateo, Isabela, a barangay councilman died Wednesday of leptospirosis he contracted when he cleaned a sewer unprotected.
Federico Sison Sr., councilman of Barangay Tres, San Mateo town, wore no pair of boots or gloves when he joined the cleanup last week, according to barangay chairman Cesar Villafuerte.
Doctors at a private hospital in Cauayan City diagnosed Sison with leptospirosis, a deadly viral disease caused by rodent’s urine.
Villafuerte said he noticed Sison had a wound on his feet when he stepped into the sewer to remove garbage that had piled up in the canal.
The councilman fell ill with high fever and complained of body pains the next day, Villafuerte said.
In Pangasinan, the provincial government is exerting efforts to control the spread of the dengue virus even as it ranks No. 3 in the region for having the most number of cases of dengue, after La Union and Ilocos Sur.
Gov. Amado T. Espino Jr. visited the Pangasinan Provincial Hospital in San Carlos City recently and launched several response mechanisms to control the spread of the mosquito-borne disease.
In San Fernando City, Pampanga, with increasing number of dengue cases in the province, the provincial government here last week didn’t charge any fee to dengue patients admitted in all provincial district hospitals.
On Aug. 21 Gov. Lilia G. Pineda revealed that dengue outbreak raised to more than 1,000 cases admitted in various public and private hospitals throughout the province.
In a report to Pineda by Joel Mapiles head of Provincial Information Office said that in July 2010, about 287 cases of dengue were reported while in July this year, about 986 cases were recorded throughout Pampanga, except Angeles City.
Pineda ordered free medical assistance as Pampanga top 3 among seven Central Luzon provinces with the highest number of cases and fatalities of dengue fever.
However, a 50 percent discount exists for dengue patients admitted at Jose B. Lingad Memorial Hospital in City of San Fernando, Pineda added.
In related reports, the Pampanga SangguniangPanlalawigan spearheaded a one-day lecture on hospital dengue management to enhance knowledge and capability of health service providers in district hospitals of the province Aug. 15.
Through the joint efforts of the Provincial Health Office and 3rd District Board Member MoninaLaus, who chairs the SP committee on health, medical specialists of the Jose B. Lingad Regional Memorial conducted lectures on the hospital management of suspected, probable and confirmed cases of dengue.
Laus also announced that the governor will utilize the Ricardo Rodriquez Memorial Hospital in Bacolor town to accommodate dengue patients.
At present, more than 500 dengue patients are confined at the JBL Regional Hospital which has 250-bed capacity.
More than 1,000 cases of dengue were recently reported in various areas of Pampanga, most of which occurred in the municipalities of Mabalacat, Candaba, Apalit, Mexico, Arayat, City of San Fernando and Angeles City.
This figure, according to Dr. MariluMalamug of the Center for Health Development in Region 3, is much higher over the number of dengue cases recorded in the same period last year.
Considered as dengue hot spots are Barangays San Juan in Apalit, Dau in Mabalacat and Sindalan in the City of San Fernando.
A person infected with dengue, a viral disease caused by bites from disease-carrying AedesAegypti and AedesAlbopictus mosquitoes, usually suffers constant high fiver, head-aches, nausea, vomiting, hemorrhage, abdominal pain, skin rashes, and diarrhea could die as a result. -- By Teddy Molina, Charlie Lagasca , VencyBulayungan and Marites Benas