Dengue downs 7th victim this year in GenSan

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/28 July) —  Health authorities here confirmed Thursday another death from dengue hemorrhagic fever, bringing to seven the number of fatalities in the city due to the mosquito-borne disease since January.

Dr. Corazon Rodaje, malaria and dengue coordinator of the City Integrated Health Services Office, said a six year-old boy from Barangay Dadiangas West, John Kenneth Alviar, succumbed late last week to severe complications caused by confirmed dengue infection.

She said the victim, a Grade 1 pupil, died at the city district hospital after suffering from erratic high fever for at least one week.

Kenneth’s mother Diana said the boy initially experienced high fever for at least two days but his condition later appeared to have stabilized.

“I did not send him to school for two days because of his fever but his condition eventually turned normal the next three days so he was able to attend his classes,” she told reporters in the vernacular.

But she said the boy’s condition suddenly worsened, exhibiting chills along with unusually high fever, prompting them to rush him to the hospital.

Rodaje said doctors immediately treated the young Alviar for dengue but was already too weak when he was brought to the hospital.

“It’s really important for our parents or guardians to pay attention to the condition of our children whenever they show signs of high fever and other unusual symptoms so they can be treated properly and  promptly,” she said.

As of Thursday, CIHSO records showed that at least 217 confirmed cases of dengue have been recorded in the city since January.

Rodaje said the total number of dengue cases in the city during the last seven months so far dropped by 55 percent when compared to last year’s record of 480 cases for the same period.

But records showed that the number of dengue deaths in the area increased by two-folds this year, prompting the Department of Health (DOH) to include the city in its dengue watchlist.

In Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao, only this city and Sarangani province recorded fatalities due to dengue this year with seven and two, respectively.

The dengue deaths in the city this year were recorded in Barangays Lagao, Labangal, Katangawan, Fatima, Buayan, Calumpang and Dadiangas West.

“Most of the confirmed dengue cases were from Barangays Calumpang and Fatima,” Rodaje told reporters.

Rodaje said the DOH and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) already distributed anti-dengue Ovicidal /Larvicidal (OL) mosquito traps in the area to help prevent the spread of the disease.

The mosquito OL trap system, which was developed by the DOST’s Industrial Technology Development Institute, is a simple device that helps reduce the number of the dengue-carrying female Aedes aegypti mosquito by trapping and eventually killing its eggs through Ovicidal-Larvicidal treatment.

DOST officials said the mosquito OL trap system, which was launched earlier this year, has shown favorable results in terms of controlling the population of the female Aedes aegypti based on laboratory and field tests that it had conducted.

Aside from the distribution of the OL traps, Rodaje said they also intensified their anti-dengue awareness campaign, which focuses on the observance of the DOH’s 4-S strategy:  search and destroy, self-protection, seek early treatment and say no to indiscriminate fogging. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)