GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/16 February) – Local health personnel are closely monitoring four villages here due to the rising incidence of the deadly dengue hemorrhagic fever since last month.
Dr. Lalaine Calonzo, acting head of the City Integrated Health Services Office (CIHSO), said Thursday they have so far recorded 32 confirmed cases of dengue within the city’s 26 barangays.
She said most of the confirmed dengue cases were recorded in Barangays City Heights, Labangal, Apopong and San Isidro, where several housing subdivisions and crowded residential communities are situated.
“These areas are presently the focus of our (anti-dengue) monitoring and campaign because they commonly register significant cases of dengue based on our records,” Calonzo said.
The official said they have not yet recorded any dengue fatality in the area but she urged residents to take some extra precaution and observe the recommended anti-dengue measures, among them the maintenance of clean surroundings.
She said households should regularly replace their stored water, especially those in big containers, after 24 hours to prevent the dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes from using them as breeding places.
“We should clean up our households and surroundings of open, unattended containers like tin cans to stop the dengue vectors from invading or spreading to our areas, especially now that were experiencing occasional rains,” Calonzo said.
Data from the Department of Health (DOH) in Region 12 showed that the city posted 161 confirmed dengue cases, including four fatalities, in the first half of 2011.
The succeeding monitoring and surveillance reports released by the agency noted that dengue cases in the area increased significantly during the rainy period from the months of July to September.
In three quarters last year, the city’s confirmed dengue cases reached 364 or down by 76 percent compared to the 1,525 cases recorded in 2010.
But local health personnel recorded 11 dengue deaths as of the end of September last year or up by a case compared to the same period in 2010.
Meantime, In nearby South Cotabato province, provincial health officer Dr. Rogelio Aturdido said they recorded 12 confirmed dengue cases in January.
He said half of the cases, which included two members of the 27th Infantry Battalion, were monitored in Tupi town.
“Our intensified (anti-dengue) campaign is ongoing and it is still anchored on the 4-S strategy because we found it very effective as a control measure,” Aturdido said.
The 4-S strategy, which was introduced by the DOH, stands for search and destroy, self-protection measures, seek early consultation and say no to indiscriminate fogging. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)