352 dengue cases alarm Kalinga health officials

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TABUK CITY, Kalinga: A total of 352 dengue suspect cases from January 1 to June 1 this year had been reported to the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU) at the Kalinga Provincial Health Office .

In response, Tabuk local officials ordered residents to conduct massive clean up in their surroundings to stop the spread of the dengue-carrier mosquito.

PESU Officer Jose Pardito Jr. said that such recorded number of cases is the highest in the region, and this calls for immediate intervention to stop the spread of dengue in the province.

The large number of cases he said could be attributed to the improvement of case reporting or the increase of infections. Either way the public he said should be aware of the existence of the disease and must take necessary precautionary measures to prevent their families from being infected.

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The office of the Philippine Information Agency here said that currently, there are four types of dengue strains lurking in the province. One of these is a strain where a patient could experience bleeding within three days after getting infected.

Once infected with one strain, a person could develop immunity on that particular strain if he survives, but this, Pardito said, would also place the patient in higher risk situation once infected with another strain.

It is vital, he said, for the people to cooperate in the various government programs to eliminate the disease especially in cleaning the surroundings- a basic household activity.

“The government is spending millions on dengue prevention from the provision of IEC materials, treated bed nets and school curtains, ovicidal/larvicidal trap kits, and chemicals for the residual household spraying. So communities should also do their part and cleanup their surroundings,” he explained.

Cleanliness, he underscored, is the only means to eliminate the Aedes aegypti which is the main type of mosquito that transmit dengue. Since the eggs of these mosquitoes only thrive in clean, stagnant water which are easily found in homes and backyard these could be eliminated with regular and everyday cleaning.

To realize this, everyone he said should enjoin the daily habit to Stop, Look and Listen.

Meaning to stop all activities at 4 o’clock, look and clean up the breeding places of mosquitoes, and listen to the authorities’ updates and advisories.

Thom F. Picaña

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