Valencia dengue cases soar

The CHO has considered dengue as a priority concern after the alarming number of cases of infection and deaths, she said. 

Rizon said two elementary school pupils have died so far. Last year, she estimated the total number of cases at 60 to 70 cases, with three deaths. 

“It is already at an alarming rate,” she said. 

Joevencio San Mate, CHO dengue coordinator, spoke to the media this week about the situation in Valencia, with the highest number of cases traced to the poblacion barangay with 19 of the 67 cases and one of the two deaths. 

The CHO has warned against mediocrity in keeping cleanliness in the surroundings as they conducted a mobile public announcement this week in the city’s barangays. 

“There is no sure cure for dengue but cleanliness (as prevention),” she said, inviting the public to clean up or face the problem, especially in the time when the wet season is coming.

The CHO has advised the cleaning up of bottles and other liquid-carrying vessels to prevent breeding sites of the mosquitoes. She said if only people unite, dengue could be stopped. 

She said they haven’t conducted fogging operations yet, which is believed to be helpful. But she confirmed they have applied an anti larvae organic solution to control “capsulated eggs” of the dengue mosquitoes. 

Romeo Sulit, provincial field operations officer of the Department of Health office in Bukidnon, said that over the last 10 years, Valencia City consistently has the most number of cases throughout the province. 

He also cited an observation that the total number of cases of dengue infection rise in a three-year cycle due to the level of vigilance of the public. 

Citing it as the second year, he said they had approximately 1,400 cases in 2007. It went down to 280, or 80 percent down, in 2008.

Sulit said they are indeed expecting an upsurge of cases in 2009 that’s why they have alarmed the public about it during their information, education, and communication campaigns. 

He said the present number of cases is indeed alarming. He cited that the surge in transmission is common towards the end of summer and will peak from June to July.

He has likewise called for the public to clean up and never to relax in the fight against dengue. 

According to the Department of Health’s website, dengue hemorrhagic fever is an acute infectious disease manifested initially with fever.

Aedes aegypti, the transmitter of the disease, is a day-biting mosquito which lays eggs in clear and stagnant water found in flower vases, cans, rain barrels, old rubber tires, etc. The adult mosquitoes rest in dark places of the house.

Among the signs and symptoms include sudden onset of high fever which may last two to seven days, joint and muscle pain and pain behind the eyes, weakness, skin rashes, red tiny spots on the skin, nosebleeding when fever starts to subside, abdominal pain, vomiting of coffee-colored matter, and dark-colored stools. 

The DOH suggests to cover water drums and water pails at all times to prevent mosquitoes from breeding, replacement of water in flower vases once a week, clean all water containers once a week, scrub the sides well to remove eggs of mosquitoes sticking to
it, clean gutters of leaves and debris so that rain water will not collect as breeding places of mosquitoes, old tires used as roof support should be punctured or cut to avoid accumulation of water, collect and dispose all unusable tin cans, jars, bottles and other items that can collect and hold water. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)