DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 27 Sept)—City Councilor Richlyn N. Justol-Baguilod has expressed alarm over the surge of dengue cases and deaths in the city, which rose by 43 percent and 115 percent, respectively.
In her privilege speech Tuesday, she said she doesn’t intend to spread fear but “to emphasize that while we have made significant progress in controlling the COVID-19 threat, other equally concerning diseases persist in our community.”
Quoting data from the Tropical Disease Division of the Davao City Health Office, Justol-Baguilod noted that 1,500 dengue cases were recorded from January to August this year, as compared to 1,052 cases during the same period last year.
In terms of deaths from dengue, 28 were recorded from January to August last year, most of which were children between the ages of 4 and 7, the councilor said. Last year, there were only 13 fatalities, she added.
Justol-Baguilod further stressed the vulnerability of the youth to Influenza-like diseases, which she noted thrive in crowded places such as schools.
Quoting data from the Department of Health (DOH), she said there has been a nationwide increase of Influenza-like cases—from 74,957 cases from January to August last year, to 114,127 during the same period this year.
The Davao Region, according to the DOH, suffered the most with 18,656 cases reported.
Justol-Baguilod relayed the warning from health experts about the potential swell in Influenza-like cases during the rainy season (from June to November) when the virus often thrives.
She urged the public’s participation in the City Government’s Executive Order 33 series of 2019, which mandates every barangay to hold their own Mosquito-Borne Viral Disease Task Force.
The councilor said the program’s success lies in the Davaoeños contribution through exercising the 5S strategies, namely, Searching and Destroying regarding the mosquito breeding sites, Seeking Early Medical Consultation for early diagnosis, Securing Self-Protection for mosquito bites, Supporting Spraying for indoor and outdoor areas, and Sustaining Hydration for a well-hydrated body.
The prevention from Influenza-like illness is also similar to COVID-19 protection, she noted.
“The public must be reminded to diligently follow minimum health protocols, which include regular hand washing, thorough disinfecting, and the use of face masks in public places,” Justol-Baguilod said.
The symptoms of Influenza-like diseases include fever, chill, dry cough, loss of appetite, body aches, nausea, and sneezing. For dengue, the illness manifests through high-fever, headache, body aches, nausea, and rash.
Justol-Baguilod has urged the public that “we must not take these symptoms lightly” and participate in proactive measures to ensure the community’s welfare. (Miah Christine Bontilao / MindaNews)