Dengue deaths in Davao soar by 70%

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 20 Jan) – The City Health Office here has recorded a 70-percent increase in deaths due to dengue, even though the number of cases in 2013 has dropped by 7 percent compared to 2012.

CHO recorded 85 deaths from January to November last year against 50 deaths during the same period in the previous year.

This despite the 7.6-percent reduction of dengue cases in 2013 at 6,866, versus the 7,429 cases in 2012.

Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, who chairs the Sangguniang Panlungsod’s health committee, said that Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet barangay captains regarding the dengue situation in the city in late February to present the CHO’s recommendations on how to prevent the disease.

“There is a need to remind barangay officials on how to prevent dengue, especially since the disease is preventable,” Villafuerte said. “It seems to show that the 4 o’clock habit is no longer being followed by barangays.” The 4 o’clock habit entails looking for breeding sites of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes at 4 p.m. everyday and destroying them.

Dengue is spread through the day-biting Aedes aegypti mosquito, which breeds on stagnant water.

Villafuerte asked barangays here not to wait for a visit from the CHO before they implement dengue prevention efforts.

According to the CHO data, Talomo North encountered the highest mortality rates, at 11 recorded cases.

The districts of Talomo South and Talomo North suffered the highest morbidities at 1,191 and 1,118 cases, respectively.

This was followed by Buhangin district at 846 cases.

Dengue infection can be detected if it includes two or more of the following symptoms: fever, headache, body pains, body weakness, rashes, and bleeding in any part of the body, including the skin, nose or any organ inside the body manifested by bloody stools or bloody urine.

In a privilege speech during the city council’s regular session this week, Villafuerte said the CHO recommended the disposal and cleanup of containers like bottles, cans, and unused tires that would possibly collect water to reduce places in which mosquito larvae could thrive.