Dengue on the rise in Bukidnon; 4 deaths out of 183 cases

MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/11 June) – Nine-year-old “BT” should have been enrolled as a Grade 3 pupil in a private school here. But he did not survive a painful ordeal with dengue, a mosquito-borne disease more common during rainy days.

“BT,” the younger of two children of government employees, was one of the 47 recorded cases of dengue here.

The Department of Health (DOH) in Bukidnon said that at least 183 cases were recorded across the province from January to May 2013.

Romy Sulit, field operations officer of the DOH-Bukidnon mosquito-borne disease control program, said that dengue fever killed four residents so far this year.

For the same period last year, he added that 32 dengue cases were recorded, with only one death.

The sharp increase in dengue cases in the province was expected, Sulit said, citing the so-called “three-year pattern of dengue that has been observed to be true in the province since 2003.”

He clarified that the number of cases accounted only those who were admitted and who passed through proper dengue diagnosis in both public and private hospitals in the province.

The four deaths were recorded each in Malaybalay City and the towns of Don Carlos, Kadingilan, and Damulog, where “BT’s” parents suspected the child to have been infected during a visit last May. He died on May 6.

Aside from the 47 cases in this city, the DOH reported a total of 55 cases in Valencia City, 36 in Don Carlos, 19 in Kadingilan, 18 in Damulog, three each in Maramag and Quezon, and a case each in Sumilao and Talakag.

Sulit said the “BT’s” case was lately detected. He advised parents to immediately have their children tested if they have on-and-off fever, as delayed dengue detection could be deadly.

Sulit stressed that prevention is still the best resort even as he noted that June is usually the peak of dengue transmission in the province.

The deaths in Bukidnon, he added, is alarming and warrant the conduct of fogging operation for the massive elimination of dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

Sulit said the marching order for them, however, is to purse house-to-house search and destroy operations around the province.

“But others rely only on the DOH to do it even when they can do it,” he added. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)