Dengue up in Cordillera Region with 1, 257 cases

>> Friday, June 3, 2016

By Julie G. Fianza

BAGUIO CITY- Dengue cases are on the rise in the Cordillera alarming health officials who urged the public to observe the “4 o’clock habit,” which involves cleaning surroundings.
Department of Health regional director Dr. Lakshmi Legaspi said
there was 141 percent increase of dengue cases first 16 weeks of this year compared to that of 2015.
The region had 1,257 cases from Jan. 1 to April 23 with 521 cases in 2015. 
Abra province posted a 43% decrease; accordingly due to a dry spell, thus without mosquito egg-laying venues.
All other provinces increased in dengue cases; Apayao, 52%; Baguio,539%; Benguet, 270%; Ifugao, 26%; Kalinga, 83%; Mt. Province, 133%; Non-CAR, 46%.  
Cases included those aged four months, up to 91 years with more males affected.
There were four fatalities; one each from Pilar, Abra and Tuba, Benguet; and two from Tabuk City, Kalinga.
There were clustering of cases in Poblacion East, Flora, Cabatacan, Pudtol and Emiliana, Santa Marcela in Apayao; Bokod Poblacion, Loacan  Itogon, Central Kapangan, and Bahong and Puguis, La Trinidad; Dominican-Mirador Hill in Baguio; and Bulanao, T abuk.          
The four o’clock habit entails a stop, look and listen approach, which was integrated in the DOH’s program to control the life-threatening disease: 
Stop - drop everything and shift current task for mosquito control.
Look – for breeding sites of dengue-carrying mosquitos, and carry out search and destroy activities to eliminate these.
Listen – entails heeding instruction from local authorities, community leaders and work supervisors.
The procedures could be done on a daily or weekly basis and in coordination with the community, local government units, Departments of Interior and Local Government, Science and Technology, Education and other concerned agencies.    
Municipal health offices were requested to be vigilant specially in places with clustering of cases.
Individuals with on-and-off fever should consult health authorities, it was known.              
Legaspi also warned of acute gastroenteritis, a virus-caused illness which may last for one to two days.
Though highly contagious, it could be avoided through hygienic practices.
The public is assured that the country is still Zika-free, Dr. Legaspi said during a recent media forum at the DOH training center.
Zika is a disease from the Aedes mosquito and could cause severe fetal brain defect due to bites during pregnancy. The symptoms are fever, rash, joint pains and conjunctivitis.


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