Dengue claims 1st victim in GenSan this year

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/09 July) – A two-year-old girl succumbed to complications caused by dengue hemorrhagic fever in a private hospital here on Monday as the City Integrated Health Services Office intensified its awareness campaign on the disease.

Dr. Jacinto Makilang, city health officer, identified the first confirmed fatality here of the viral illness as Joanna Sophia Rabaya.

Makilang said that based on the initial site survey conducted by the city’s sanitary inspectors, the victim could have been infected by the disease at their community in Barangay Conel here.

He said the sanitary inspectors found several unattended water containers near the child’s home that possibly served as breeding ground of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

He said Friday they already recorded at least 231 positive dengue cases from the city’s 26 barangays since January.

Dengue is an acute infectious viral disease, which usually affects infants and young children. It is transmitted through a day-biting mosquito known as Aedes aegypti.

Makilang said they initially launched community-level information and education campaigns regarding the preventive measures against the infection and spread of dengue in the area.

He said he also assigned some of their personnel to visit various public and private schools in the city to educate students and school children regarding the perils posed by the disease.

Makilang said the city’s anti-dengue campaign is mainly centered on the adoption of the 4-S strategy earlier introduced by the Department of Health.

4-S stands for search and destroy, self-protection, seek early treatment and say no to indiscriminate fogging.

“It’s important for all of us to clean up our surroundings on a regular basis and get rid of all mosquito breeding places to prevent the further spread of dengue,” Makilang told reporters.

He said residents should take extra precaution as the disease’s incidence may likely increase as the rainy season continues.

He urged them to immediately seek proper medical help the moment they feel the initial manifestations or symptoms of the disease, which may include erratic high fever, persistent vomiting, inability to take oral fluids, persistent abdominal pain, restlessness, bleeding of nose and gums and passage of black stools. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)