Dengue alarms Baguio officials

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BAGUIO CITY: The continuous increase of dengue cases in the Summer Capital has alarmed local officials, blaming it for a decrease in tourist arrivals during the third quarter of this year.

The City Health Services Office (CHSO) recorded 1,199 dengue cases from January to July, a five-fold increase from the 239 cases during the same period last year.

Of the 1,199 cases, 56 percent were male while 44 percent were female. There were two recorded deaths—a 58-year-old female from Asin Road and 20-year-old male from Camp 7.

Councilor Elmer Datuin, chairman of the Committee on Tourism, Special Events Parks and Playgrounds, raised his concern on the impact of the increasing dengue cases on the tourism industry of Baguio City.

Datuin said the city should look closely at the data and be cautious in declaring an outbreak because it could create a toll on the revenue of the city from tourism.

Councilor Elaine Sembrano, chairman of the Committee on Health and Sanitation, Ecology and Environmental Protection, agreed with Datuin, and called for a massive campaign to prevent a possible outbreak that could lead to deaths.

The CHSO is conducting anti-dengue prevention activities that include misting of 30 barangay (villages) with a high prevalence of dengue cases; strengthening of “search and destroy” operations; and distribution of mosquito nets in schools.

City Health Officer Rowena Galpo said defogging of the 30 villages was being done, adding that they need more medicines and defogging machines to fully defog the city’s 129 villages.

Galpo advised village officials to enforce the clean-up and destroy mosquito-breeding places in their respective areas.

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