NAGA City -- The Department of Health (DoH) here said Bicol exceeded the dengue epidemic threshold with the current statistics of 33 deaths and 3, 470 cases during the first half of this year.
DoH-Bicol OIC assistant regional director Dr. Arnulfo Carandang said during the Bicol Medical Center (BMC) inauguration of the “Malasakit Center” the age-bracket among the recent dengue-related deaths were minors -- from ages four to seven -- compared to the previous one-month to 98 years old.
Carandang said DoH has collaborated with the Department of Education (DepEd) to implement a region-wide “four o’clock” habit in public schools to seek and destroy the breeding habitats of dengue-carrier mosquitoes.
Carandang added that the DoH has deployed health workers to assist afflicted patients in far flung rural communities to prevent the rising numbers of dengue-related deaths.
He noted that dengue deaths in Bicol were due to delayed medical intervention when patients have already suffered the symptoms for three or four days before they will be given the proper medical treatment.
He pointed out that dengue has now become a year-round health threat to local population, after dengue carrier mosquitoes have now developed to afflict victims with three-strains of dengue, which reportedly evolved in the late 1990s.
“A patient can be afflicted several times by different dengue strains,” Carandang explained.
“There are at least three known dengue strains discovered by medical experts in recent years,” he said.
Sorsogon province now has the highest number of degue cases, prompting Sorsogon Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero to issue an order for the total clean up of surroundings in Sorsogon towns, schools, hospitals, public and privately-owned buildings as deterrent to the spreading mosquito-borne virus.