Dengue cases declining but efforts must be sustained

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

THREE weeks after the declaration of the dengue outbreak in five provinces of Western Visayas, the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6 observed a decrease in the number of new dengue cases.

According to Regional Epidemiologist Dr. Jessie Glen Alonsabe, dengue cases were expected to shoot up since the record is cumulative or collated from January 2019.

As of August 9, 2019, the health department has recorded 32,287 dengue cases in the region with 150 deaths.

Halin sang January kun lantawon ta mataas indi gid man na magnubo kay cumulative na ang datos naton, pero kun tan-awon mo ang graph niya, medyo ga-amat amat naman siya panaog,” Alonsabe said in a phone interview on Sunday.

He cited the declining number of dengue cases from the 29th to the 31st morbidity week.

Ang pinaka-peak naton actually two weeks ago, last week nagnubo, and sa aton pinakalatest sa 31st morbidity week medyo nagnubo na gid man pero may gasulod pa nga datos, kay ndi pa na kompleto. Pero kun i-compare naton ang 29th to 30th morbidity week may ara gid man siya pagnubo,” he said.

He attributed the decrease to the increased awareness of the public against dengue.

Tam-an na gid kataas ang awareness sang mga publiko and maskin damo na ang mga gatabo, kami ya sige man amon gihapon tutok sa dengue,” he said.

Alonsabe underscored the need to maintain the efforts of the public to eliminate the breeding sites of the mosquitoes and practice the 4S.

He said these efforts must be maintained despite the decrease in dengue cases.

Biskan gani magnubo dapat isustain naton gihapon ang aton efforts nga mag-eliminate sang breeding sites, amo na ang pinaka-effective nga way para matapna ang dengue,” Alonsabe said.

The 4S advocacy of the health department includes: search and destroy the breeding places of the mosquitoes; self-protection measures like use of long sleeves and mosquito repellents; seek early consultation; and say yes to fogging in hotspot areas or where there is an increase in dengue cases for two consecutive weeks.

Hopefully, the trend of decreasing dengue cases will continue up to end of August, Alonsabe noted.

In Iloilo City, the city government has turned over anti-dengue equipment and supplies to the 109 barangays in the metro which were identified with high dengue cases.

Each barangay received sprayer, larvicides, and protective gear among other equipment.

On Friday, the office was also suspended for the conduct of fogging in the premises of the City Hall.

Recently, the city government also received 1,688 sachets of medicines for dengue patients through the Office of Iloilo City Lone District Rep. Julienne “Jam-Jam” Baronda.

Meanwhile, the La Paz Maternity and Reproductive Health Center in La Paz, Iloilo City has been converted to a hydration unit  to cater patients referred by the city’s district health centers particularly those patients who tested positive in dengue but without warning signs.