FORTY people in Bicol province have died from dengue from January to August this year, the Department of Health - Regional Office 5 reported yesterday.
DoH regional director for Bicol Dr. Ernie Vera said the number of patients afflicted by the killer mosquito reached 4, 241 cases, with 40 deaths.
Camarines Sur ranked first among the six Bicol provinces affected by dengue from January to Aug. 3, with 1, 706 cases, and 14 recorded deaths.
Sorsogon, which earlier ranked first in dengue cases among Bicol provinces, has now 784 cases; Albay has 769; Catanduanes, 563; Masbate, 271; and Camarines Norte has 144 dengue cases.
Earlier, Vera said the current dengue cases in Bicol had exceeded the epidemic threshold, with 4, 241 dengue cases and 40 deaths from January 1 to Aug. 3.
He said dengue cases increased by 157% compared to the same period in 2018, with only 1, 653 cases, and 18 recorded deaths.
The region was placed under “Blue alert” status due to the rising incidence of dengue.
PH HAS MOST DENGUE CASES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA—DUQUE
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, said the Philippines ranked first in dengue cases from January 1 to July 23 in Southeast Asia, with 73,818 and 622 deaths.
He said Philippines was followed by Malaysia, with 36,191 cases and 102 deaths; Vietnam, with 19,938 cases and four deaths; LAO PDR, with 2,064 and 27 deaths; and Singapore, with 1,421 cases and 27 deaths.
Duque, together with DoH – Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) regional director Eduardo Janairo visited one of the hospitals in Quezon province to check on the health status of dengue patients, including those immunized with the dengvaxia vaccine at the Quezon Medical Center (QMC) in Lucena City.
The health officials also met with the local government officials of Quezon province after Duque declared a national dengue epidemic to seek their support in the DoH’s anti-dengue campaign.
“There is still no cure for dengue. The best thing that we can do is to clean our surroundings, eliminate all mosquito breeding sites that we can find in our homes such as water in vases, tires, water drain at the back of refrigerators. Check for an opening or cracks in your septic tanks because this is where mosquitoes hide and thrive,” Duque told the congressmen, governor and mayors at the meeting.
“I am counting on your support because you are at the forefront in our fight against dengue. Sustain your regular clean-up drive, encourage everyone in the community to practice 4-S strategy and conduct regular misting activity. You can always request for support at the regional office and they are ready to provide assistance,” he added.
As of Aug. 7, there are 98 dengue cases admitted at the QMC, with five dengvaxia vaccinees who are currently recuperating in various wards.
The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit has reported that from January 1, 2019 to August 3, 2019, Quezon province has a total of 3,604 dengue cases, with nine deaths. Among the top five municipalities/city are Atimonan, with 406 dengue cases; followed by Lopez with 340 cases; Mauban with 272; Gumaca – 265; and Lucena City – 226.
Calabarzon has a total of 20,636 dengue cases, with 74 deaths, which is 64% higher compared to the same period last year, with 12,621 cases. Batangas with 3,842; Cavite - 6,257; Laguna - 4,593; Quezon – 3,640; Rizal – 2,304.
Cavite is the province with the highest number of cases, with 6,257.
GORDON TO PUBLIC: CLEAN YOUR SURROUNDINGS EVERY DAY
Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, called on the public to initiate measures to protect themselves from dengue by cleaning their surroundings every day.
Gordon made the call following the Department of Health’s declaration of a national dengue epidemic in the wake of the 146,062 cases recorded since January up to July 20 this year, which is 98% higher than the same period in 2018.
At least 622 deaths have already been recorded.
“With the declaration of a national dengue epidemic, we all have to do our part to stem the further spread of the disease. We have to take preventive measures to protect ourselves. That is why I am calling on the public to clean their surroundings every day. Destroy all the breeding sites of mosquitoes by cleaning canals, removing stagnant, clean water that can be found in places where these may go unnoticed such as flower vases and other plants, old tires, construction debris, uncollected garbage, and gutters, among others,” he said.
In line with the PRC’s fight against dengue, Gordon said the humanitarian organization is also on the alert for people who may have dengue, especially those who may not have had the disease before and were inoculated with the Dengvaxia vaccine, so that Red Cross ambulances can transport them to hospitals immediately. The ambulance service is provided free for indigent patients who cannot afford the fee.
He added the PRC has already sent 330 bags of blood to dengue-stricken provinces such as Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Tacloban and Palawan.
With Lee Ann Ducusin