KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/29 July) – Health officials in North Cotabato have not declared a dengue outbreak amid the “unprecedented” increase in the number of cases in the province.
Data from the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) showed dengue cases in the province from January to July this year rose by 201 percent over the 1,258 cases recorded in the same period last year.
Of those infected, 3,688 were hospitalized while 16 died, the data added.
IPHO officer-in-charge Dr. Joel Sungcad said the average age of those infected by the virus was 18 years old and majority were males.
But Sungcad said there was no indicator yet of a dengue outbreak.
He explained that before the Department of Health may declare an outbreak, at least two towns with the highest number of cases should affirm that the disease has already spread.
As of Monday, the town of Midsayap registered at least 508 dengue cases; Kidapawan, 470; Makilala, 318; Libungan, 238; and Kabacan, 235.
At least 31 villages in North Cotabato have reported dengue cases, the IPHO said.
Sungcad said that once an outbreak is declared in the province, the IPHO could use the P1M contingency fund.
If this is not enough, it can use part of the 70 percent of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management fund. (Malu Cadelina-Manar/MindaNews)