GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/17 November) — Health personnel here have warned residents against infection from more severe and dangerous strains of the deadly dengue fever.
Dr. Mely Lastimoso, chief of the City Health Office’s (CHO) epidemiology and surveillance unit, issued the warning on Thursday as she confirmed the emergence in the area of dengue strains 3 and 4, which are considered to be more critical.
She said they have recorded these past months several cases of infection from such strains, most of which have led to deaths.
The official cited the case of the latest confirmed fatality from dengue, the 16th since January, involving a 30 year-old job order utility worker of the Mindanao State University campus here.
Norhan Usman Amman, who is a resident of Barangay Ligaya, succumbed to the disease on Sunday night, four days after the initially exhibiting flu-like symptoms.
Norhan’s wife, Norshenna, said her husband did not report for work on Thursday and Friday last week due to fever and body pains.
By Saturday, she said he complained of throat pains or possible tonsilitis, started vomiting and felt very weak.
Upon her husband’s request, Norshenna said they brought him to a hospital the next day and it turned that he was suffering from advanced stage of dengue.
“He did not have skin rashes so we never thought that it was already dengue,” she said.
Lastimoso said Norhan’s blood platelet count was still at 186 before he was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
She said such count is considered high since the World Health Organization’s definition for dengue infection is below 100.
“The city now has four strains of dengue so we have to do more (disease) surveillance and identification,” she said in an interview over TV Patrol Socsksargen.
In the previous years, she said they only monitored cases of dengue strains 1 and 2, which are characterized by its common symptoms like high fever, emergence of skin rashes and bleeding.
Lastimoso said the detection of dengue strains 3 and 4 means that the disease is now more potent and dangerous.
“When there’s already a mix of these strains, it would be very difficult to treat the disease,” she said.
In the wake of this development, she advised residents to continue with the regular clean-up of their households and surroundings of possible breeding places of dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
She said those suffering from fever should immediately seek treatment at the nearest barangay health center so they could avail of oresols for rehydration.
Since January, the CHO already recorded more than 2,300 cases of dengue within the city’s 26 barangays and with 16 fatalities.
The city had not recorded a single case of dengue death until November last year.
Most of the dengue cases, which is about 260 percent higher than the 2015 figures, were reported in Barangays Lagao, Calumpang and Fatima. (MindaNews)