GenSan folk warned of dengue as rainy season looms

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 28 May) – Health personnel here cautioned anew residents on the possible surge of dengue cases in the coming weeks due to the onset of the rainy season.

Rebecca Ocat, health educator of the City Health Office (CHO), said local households and communities should remain alert and sustain the precautionary measures to prevent another outbreak of the deadly mosquito-borne disease.

From January 1 to May 27, she said they already recorded a total of 339 dengue cases and four confirmed deaths, all aged above 20-years-old, in the city’s 26 barangays.

The Department of Health continues to use fumigation of surroundings and buildings to control the spread of dengue. MindaNews file photo

She said such figure was lower than the 449 cases reported in the same period in 2019 but there were no fatalities then.

Ocat said the top 10 barangays in terms of cases this year were Calumpang, Labangal, Lagao, Fatima, San Isidro, Apopong, Bula, Tambler, City Heights and Sinawal.

“(Dengue) is just within our homes and surroundings so it is important for everyone to always observe the necessary prevention measures,” she said in a radio interview.

CHO has been continually promoting the 4S strategy against dengue, which stands for search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites; secure self-protection measures like wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts and daily use of mosquito repellent; seek early consultation; and, support fogging/spraying only in hotspot areas where increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak.

Ocat said the “first line of defense” against dengue was the regular cleanup of mosquito breeding sites in households and communities.

She advised residents to continually clean up their surroundings while observing the community quarantine measures against the coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.

Residents who were experiencing high fever, severe headache, nausea and vomiting but without cough should seek immediate consultation at the nearest rural health unit (RHU) for possible dengue infection, she said.

Ocat said they should not wait for the emergence of body rashes as they could come out in the last stage of the disease.

She said the city’s 12 RHUs have assigned doctors, nurses, medical technologists and midwives who were trained to handle dengue cases.

NS1 antigen test kits, which may detect the disease as early as the first day of infection, were available in the RHUs, she added. (MindaNews)