GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/09 February) — Health authorities here alerted residents anew over the increasing cases of the deadly dengue fever that already resulted to two confirmed deaths this year.
Dr. Washington Loreno, City Health Office (CHO) chief, said people should remain cautious and vigilant as the disease incidence in the city has continued to rise and there are cases that exhibited severe trains of dengue.
As of Thursday, the CHO already recorded a total of 403 confirmed cases of dengue in the city’s 26 barangays.
Such figure is 129 percent higher than the 176 cases documented in the area during the same period last year.
“Yes, that’s really alarming,” Loreno said in an interview over TV Patrol Socsksargen.
The two dengue deaths, which were only recorded last weekend, involved a Grade 1 pupil from Barangay Buayan, and a Grade 7 student from Barangay Olympog.
The first fatality, six-year-old Elaiza Tanaya, succumbed at a hospital here last Saturday to complications triggered by the mosquito-borne viral disease.
Twelve-year-old Cherry Ann Dayday died in a hospital here Sunday dawn, two days after she was rushed for treatment.
Dr. Mely Lastimoso, chief of the CHO’s epidemiology and surveillance unit, said it was already too late when the two victims were brought to the hospital for treatment.
She cited the case of Tanaya, who was already bleeding or at the “danger zone” three days before she was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
“Based on our assessment, the health-seeking behavior in most dengue cases is quite late,” she said.
“Dengue is just around the corner so from day one of fever, we should seek immediate treatment,” Lastimoso said.
Danilo Canencia, CHO sanitary inspector, said they found possible breeding places of dengue-carrying mosquitoes at the Dayday household in Purok Balakayo in Olympog.
He cited steel drums and containers used for water storage that housed mosquito larvae.
Canencia acknowledged that the CHO needs to conduct more education campaigns on dengue in Purok Balakayo, which is among the remotest communities of the city proper.
“Their perception about dengue is still primitive and I admit that the area is quite far (from the city proper). So we really need extra effort from our field personnel,” he said. (MindaNews)