By ALMA SINUMLAG
BAGUIO CITY – Regional Epidemology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) reported 11 deaths due to dengue fever in the region in a report to the Department of Health dated August 24, 2010.
The nine who died in CAR are the following: 8 year old female from Samoki, Bontoc, Mountain Province; 24 year old female from Middle Quarry, Baguio City; 58 year old male from Tocucan, Bontoc; 11 months old male from Itogon, Benguet; 18 year old male from Maligcong, Abra; 39 year old female from La Trinidad, Benguet; 7 months old from Loakan, Apugan, Baguio City; 12 year old female from Bangued, Abra; and a 5 year old male from Cervantes, Ilocos Sur.
The deaths ocurred within the months of June to August.
The Disease Reporting Unit (DRU) recorded 2,577 cases of dengue fever from January 1 up to August 21. According to DRU, this is a 1.53 fold increase compared to the same period last year.
Ifugao has the highest number of cases with 612, followed by Baguio with 492 cases, Benguet with 455 cases, Mountain Province with 420 cases, Kalinga with 366 cases, Apayao with 141 cases and non-CAR provinces with 91 cases.
In the data, ages affected by this disease ranged from 4 days old baby to 87 years old. It was also noted that cases had exceeded and reached the epidemic threshold.
According to DoH, the worsening situation is believed to be caused by lack of planning, uncontrolled population growth, pollution and garbage and lack of community involvement. Thus, they are implementing information drive on the ways that communities may adopt to initiate concerted efforts to fight dengue.
In their brochure, DoH informs that “dengue is a disease transmitted from person to person through the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito harboring the dengue virus.” The process of the life cycle and growth of the Aedes mosquito was also explained.
Moreover, Aedes mosquitos only bites during the day, mostly 2 hours after sunrise and 2 hours before sunset. It lives in dark shaded areas and lays eggs in clean, clear, and stagnant water.
It was also stated in the brochure that Aedes mosquito prefer to bite humans. It is attracted to moving persons and bites from behind. It also increases during rainy season.
The signs and symptoms of dengue according to the DoH brochure are the following: high continuous fever that lasts for 2 – 7 days, skin flushing, hemorrhagic manifestations like nose bleeding and/or gum bleeding, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. They also corrected the myths on dengue like burning trash or dried leaves is one way of preventing dengue. It stated that “burning trash or dried leaves is not effective in preventing dengue because it does not kill the mosquito. It will only drive these away.”
Also, the belief that dengue is transmitted or transferred by coughing, touching or staying near a person with dengue is not true. According to DoH, the only way of getting infected with dengue is through the bite of an infected female Aedes mosquito.
To prevent this fever, DoH is promoting the 4S to fight dengue. These are: Search and destroy areas where Aedes mosquito can live; Seek immediate consultation when fever has reached 2 days; Say “No” to indiscriminate fogging, and Self – protection measures like using insect repellant and wearing long sleeves shirts.Dr. Myrna Cabotaje of DoH said that dengue cases will surely lessen when the rainy season will end. # nordis.net