Dengue cases in Davao City down by 40% in 1st half of 2015

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 11 July) – The City Health Office (CHO) here has recorded around 1,800 suspected dengue cases in the first semester of 2015, down by 40 percent compared with last year’s 3,000 cases for the same period.

The number of deaths also decreased from 36 last year to only two so far this year,Melanie Babante, CHO pest control worker, said.

Babante attributed this major drop to the agency’s intensified drive against dengue in schools and barangays.

She said their health workers do one-on-one lectures in every barangay per month to instill the proper ways of cleaning up the surroundings and searching and destroying the possible breeding sites of the mosquitoes.

“We have mobilized the Dengue Task Force in every barangay who will do the surveillance if there is any reported case of dengue. They will also do the fogging,” she said.

Other interventions that the agency provides include the distribution of free Olyset-treated curtains and ovicidal-larvicidal (OL) traps.

These methods, however, are effective only up to a certain extent. The Olyset-treated curtains can be effective only if mosquitos make contact with them while the OL traps have to be monitored weekly or they will be a potential breeding site after the effectivity of its chemical, Sumilarv, wears off in a month.

Yasmin M. Avila, health education and promotion officer II of the Department of Health (DOH) 11, reminded the public that during this rainy season, households must do the 4 o’clock habit of checking on and destroying possible breeding sites.

If households will be able to identify and destroy potential breeding sites, mosquitos, which usually have a lifespan of one month, will decrease, she said.

A crown of bottled drink, she said, can also be a potential breeding site for mosquitoes, Avila added.

In 2012, the CHO tested the use of Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in Catalunan Grande, an area considered as a dengue hotspot.

Babante noted that while it was effective, they had to forego the IRS procedure as the application was labor intensive.

Right now, IRS is being used for prevention and control of malaria in Paquibato and Marilog where two cases have been recorded in the first semester of this year.

“We only apply IRS in malaria-endemic specific area every six months,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)