By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — The Center for Health Development (CHD) reports a 12 % increase in dengue cases in the Cordillera for the first six months of 2012 and warns the public of an expected increase in the coming months due to the rains.
CHD Cordillera Entomologist Ursula Segundo reported during the weekly Kapihan here on June 13 that there are 658 reported cases of dengue for the first half this year with two fatalities. She added that there were only 585 cases for the same period last year.
CHD data showed that Ifugao recorded the highest increase, from 87 dengue cases in the first half of 2011 to 2012 cases for the same period this year, an additional 115 cases. Apayao recorded an increase of 33 cases from 11 in 2011 to 44 this year, and Kalinga with an increase of six from 170 to 176.
The same data showed that dengue cases in Abra decreased from 60 in 2011 to 31 this year, Baguio City also recorded a decrease from 72 to 57 and Mountain Province from 46 to 32. Benguet recorded 88 dengue cases this year which was the same as last year.
Segundo reiterated that prevention is still better than cure as she called on everyone to participate in the health department’s campaign for the elimination of mosquito breeding ground. She added that this time of the year, the rainy season, is the best time for the breeding of mosquitoes which calls for a more intensified “search and destroy” operation against mosquito breeding ground.
“We have been conducting information and education campaigns (IEC) every year. This time we are bringing it to the barangay level. Elimination of mosquito breeding ground is really the corner stone of our anti-dengue campaign,” she reiterated.
Segundo pointed out that the mosquitoes carrying dengue have already adapted to climate change. She mentioned that among the indications are the changes in breeding and survival capabilities of these mosquitoes. She explained that the mosquitoes can now breed and survive even with a spot of clean water in a stagnant body of water even if the larger part is unclear. She added that the two species dengue carrying mosquitoes can now survive in both in urban and rural areas unlike before.
She also said that the CHD is working closely with other government agencies specially the Department of Education since majority of dengue patients are children. # nordis.net