By John Noel E. Herrera
The Iloilo City Health Office (CHO) has reminded the public, especially adults, to immediately seek medical attention when experiencing dengue symptoms, as the city has already recorded two dengue deaths in January 2023 alone.
Dr. Roland Jay Fortuna said that the public should not take high fever lightly even as they should also improve their health-seeking behavior to protect themselves against dengue-carrying mosquitos.
“So reminder lang gid kay kadasig, sa mga adult usually amu na, kis-a hilanat lang, ti gina dala-dala, waay naga pacheck-up,” Fortuna said.
“Sa tanan naton nga mga pumuluyo sa Iloilo, magpakunsulta gid sa health centers kung may mga sign sang dengue, gina-accomodate gid ni sila and we do the dengue testing,” he added.
The CHO noted that one of the two recorded dengue fatalities this year was a 15-year-old male from Project 1, Sooc, Arevalo, while the other one was a 28-year-old male from Brgy. Calajunan in Mandurriao district.
“Amu ni sila ang ginahambal ta bala nga daw pabaya man kay actually ang sa 15-year-old victim, late na sila naglakat sa hospital, so may complications na siya,” Dr. June Francis Omani said.
Omani said adults tend to be dismissive of their health compared to children who will almost always complain.
“Sa iban gani daw mas okay pa ya ang bata gid kay daw gahambal pa kung ano ang nabatyag no, unlike sang adults ya nga gina dala-dala lang nila, especially ining 28 years old, siguro gin dala-dala ya lang so sang hindi na gid kagwanta, that’s the time nangayo magpa-hospital,” he added.
Data from CHO indicated that the 15-year-old victim manifested a high fever of 38 degrees Celsius and low platelet counts, while the 28-year-old adult died from cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) secondary to dengue shock syndrome.
Meanwhile, Dr. Fortuna emphasized that the alert threshold and epidemic threshold of the city for 2023 is lower compared to previous years, and a sudden spike in dengue cases this year could lead to an outbreak.
“Nagnubo aton alert threshold, naganubo man aton epidemic threshold that’s why gamay lang nga taas sang cases. Pwede kita ka declare an outbreak, amu ni ang gina-bantayan subong,” Fortuna explained.
“Kay sang 2019, damo cases, sang 2020 to 2022, nag-nubo siya, so this time gamay lang nga saka, ma-outbreak na ta,” he stressed.
As of Jan 31, 2023, the CHO reported 38 dengue cases with two fatalities. Children aged one to 10 years old accounted for the most number of cases with 21, followed by 11 to 20 years old with six, and 21 to 30 years old with five cases.
Health centers have already opened hydration units, while the CHO started to distribute adulticide and dengue test kits for early detection of possible dengue cases.
The CHO also urged the public to follow the 4S strategy (search and destroy breeding places, seeking early treatment, self-protection measures, say yes to fogging) to prevent the possible surge of dengue cases.
The last dengue outbreak in Iloilo City was reported in 2019 when cases spiked to 3,345 with 16 deaths.