GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/30 July) – Dengue claimed two more lives here since last week, bringing to three the number of confirmed deaths in the city due to the mosquito-borne disease for this month alone.
A report from the City Integrated Health Services Office confirmed Friday that a senior high school student and a preschooler from two urban barangays in the city succumbed to complications caused by dengue hemorrhagic fever during the last seven days.
Victims Grace Merculio, 16, and Izabela Denille Avila, 5, reportedly died less than a week after they were first downed by high fever that later turned out to be caused by dengue infection.
Earlier this month, a two-year-old girl identified as Joanna Sophia Rabaya became the city’s first fatality of dengue this year. Since January, at least 375 local residents have been downed by dengue.
Gloria Merculio, Grace’s mother, said her daughter initially fell ill with high fever last July 19 that went on and off for several days.
She admitted giving her daughter ordinary anti-fever medicines but the latter’s condition persisted and even turned worse.
Grace’s condition was confirmed as having been caused by dengue infection when she died last July 23.
She was a graduating student at the Lagao National High School here.
The young Avila was forced to skip her Kindergarten 2 classes at the SPED (Special Education) Integrated School here last July 22 due to high fever, according to the victim’s grandmother Adela Avila.
She said they brought Izabela to a private clinic for treatment where she was initially diagnosed with urinary tract infection.
But Adela said her granddaughter’s condition turned worse on Saturday night prompting them to bring her to the hospital last Sunday morning.
Izabela was declared to have died last Monday due to dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Dr. Jacinto Makilang, city health officer, expressed alarm over the two new reported deaths due to dengue but assured that they have been doubling their efforts to control the spread of the disease in the city.
He said the city government has approved the conduct of selective anti-dengue fumigation in areas where most of the confirmed dengue cases were monitored.
Makilang said they have been also conducting massive dengue awareness and clean-up drives in various communities, especially areas within barangays Conel, Lagao and Dadiangas North where the three fatalities hailed from.
“We’re coordinating with various concerned private and government agencies right now to help us come up with more concerted community efforts to combat the spread of dengue. We are now on epidemic resolve so it’s important that everyone must be involved in these efforts,” he added. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)