Region’s dengue cases down 81%
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo and Sherwin O. Gabrinez (The Freeman) - May 21, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Dengue cases in Central Visayas have decreased by 81.7 percent from January to May 17, 2014  compared to same period last year.

This was based on the record of the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of the Department of Health-7.

According to Dr. Jonathan Neil Erasmo of DOH-7 Communicable Diseases Control Section, the number of dengue lowered with a total of  1,150 cases and 5 deaths  compared to last year with 6,294 cases and 21 deaths.For 2014, the highest number of  dengue cases was recorded in Cebu City with 217 cases and a single death followed by Lapu-Lapu City with 122 cases and Dumaguete City with 98 cases. For other areas in the region, recorded dengue cases were below 40.

Data showed that most of the affected dengue patients were ages six to ten.

Dengue, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a mosquito-borne disease, particularly from aedis aegypti, viral infection found in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world.

DOH-7 Regional Director Jaime Bernadas said that an increase in awareness is a factor of the decrease in the cases, along with the intensification of campaigns to combat the disease, specifically with the Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue.

“ABKD” lists tips on discarding possible sources of dengue such as stagnant water which is the breeding ground of the mosquitoes.

However, Dr. Ramon Najaro, Chairman of the Department of  Pediatrics of  Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center  said not to be complacent with the decrease of the number of cases.

“Dili ta ma-complacent kay usahay ang dengue after three years mag-anam ug kawagtang then mukalit ug kabalik. Naa ta karon sa panaog and it is our hope na ma-sustain nato ang pagnaog,” he said, adding that personal hygiene and community clean-up involvement would be essential.

For VSMMC, Najaro said that dengue cases in the hospital have also decreased.

He said that VSMMC recorded less than one percent death rate last year. For January to April 2014, the hospital has recorded 221 cases, 13 severe cases, and 3 deaths in January.

Further, Bernadas warned that even in the hot season or the anticipated El Niño, people should not be complacent that mosquitoes would not be around.

“Kon ting-ulan, modaghan gyod ang mga lamok. Pero, it doesn’t mean that kung init, walay lamok,” he said, adding that people should be mindful of the cleanliness of the house and the community as well.

For the treatment, Bernadas said that vaccines against dengue are still on their clinical trial phases and there are still no specific treatment for it.

However, he reminded that prevention is the best defense against dengue, adding that the first line of defense would be a cleaner environment, body and homes. He said that sources of stagnant water should be discarded.

“Walay lain na kinakusgan na kaatbang sa dengue, kung dili kita mismo,” Bernadas said.

He said the community should cooperate in the programs initiated by the local government units to minimize or even eradicate dengue cases.

“Dili namo makaya tanan kon dili ma-involve ang community,” he added. — (FREEMAN)

AKSYON BARANGAY KONTRA DENGUE BERNADAS CASES CEBU CITY CENTRAL VISAYAS CHAIRMAN OF THE DEPARTMENT COMMUNICABLE DISEASES CONTROL SECTION DENGUE DILI DR. JONATHAN NEIL ERASMO
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