DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 April) – Local health officials recorded a total of 299 cases of dengue in Davao City for the first quarter of 2022 with three deaths, an official of the City Health Office said on Tuesday.
Beth Banzon, head of CHO-Davao’s Tropical Diseases & Nutrition Division, told Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) that the number of cases for the first three months of this year increased by 11.56% from 268 cases reported for the same period of last year.
She said that from April 1 to 19, the local government reported a total of 71 dengue cases.
She said the increase in the number of dengue cases was partly due to the rainy season, failure of the residents to clean up their environment, and the habit of the households of storing water in uncovered containers.
Banzon reminded the public that the mosquitos could spread quickly as their eggs hatch in four to five days, saying the mosquitos could lay eggs in stagnant waters or even in cans, tires, or other plastic trash that could accumulate rainwater.
“If there are mosquito larva, there are also mosquitos,” she pointed out.
Banzon encouraged Dabawenyos to immediately bring any members of their households to the hospital once they manifest any symptoms of the infection.
Among the signs exhibited by a dengue victim include sudden onset of high fever which may last from two to seven days, joint and muscle pain and pain behind the eyes, weakness, skin rashes, nose bleeding when fever starts to subside, abdominal pain, vomiting of coffee-colored matter, dark-colored stools, and difficulty of breathing.
According to Department of Health (DOH)-Davao, households are encouraged to follow the “4 o’clock habit” as this is the time that the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the carrier of dengue viruses, would “come out and seek blood meal.”
The 4 o’clock habit seeks to enjoin the communities to take time to weed out dengue breeding sites at 4 p.m. each day. Cleaning before evening is supposedly key to reducing the risk of dengue, as mosquitos carrying the disease are most active at dusk.
Banzon said the family of one case who died of dengue did not immediately bring the patient to the hospital due to fear of contracting coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
But she said it is important that patients get treated immediately because there is a chance that they would be in critical condition within four to six days upon contracting the infection.
Banzon said among the areas in the city that reported dengue cases include Barangay Dumoy, Barangay 5-A, Barangay 8-A, Barangay 10-A, Barangay 20-B, Catalunan Grande, Barangay 19-B, Matina Aplaya, Marilog Proper, Barangay Malabog in Paquibato District, and Barangay San Antonio in Agdao District.
She said that residents must cooperate in combating dengue by making sure that their environments are clean and destroy possible breeding sites of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that can transmit the viruses that cause dengue fever.
“It does not mean that if your house is clean then you are safe from dengue because it could just be around you since the flight range of mosquitos is 200 to 300 meters. Let’s help each other there in your purok. Instead of gossiping, make sure that you help prevent dengue,” Banzon said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)