GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 June) – Health authorities here have raised anew the alert level against the deadly dengue fever, which already claimed at least four lives during the last five months.
Dr. Jacinto Makilang, City Integrated Health Services Office (CIHSO) chief, said Thursday they recorded at least 143 confirmed dengue cases, including four deaths, in the city’s 26 barangays from January to May this year.
He said this year’s figures dropped by 37 cases or around 20 percent but the number of fatalities has increased by three cases compared to the same period last year.
CIHSO records showed that the confirmed deaths this year due to the mosquito-borne disease were recorded in Barangays Labangal, Buayan, Fatima and Lagao.
“We can’t be complacent about this disease. It’s important that we should all remain vigilant as the number of cases might increase within the next few weeks because of the current rainy season,” Makilang said.
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.
It may be recalled that the city recorded a sudden surge of dengue cases during the onset of the rainy season in June last year.
After posting 180 cases for the first five months, the confirmed dengue incidence in the city increased by 118 in June 2010 or a total of 298 cases during the first half of the year.
Makilang said they intensified anew their community-level information and education campaigns regarding the preventive measures against the infection and further spread of dengue in the city.
He said they were monitoring local public and private schools for the possible emergence of dengue cases among school children and students.
The health official advised residents to observe the Department of Health’s 4-S strategy to help avert the further spread of dengue.
4-S stands for search and destroy, self-protection, seek early treatment and say no to indiscriminate fogging.
“The best way to combat dengue is through sustained cleanliness and sanitation. We have to clean up our surroundings on a regular basis and get rid of possible breeding places of dengue-carrying mosquitoes,” Makilang said.
He urged residents 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 from
nose and gums and passage of black stools. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)