Dengue menace stalks mountain village

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BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya: Residents in the remote mountain village of Didipio in the town of Kasibu are bracing for a possible dengue outbreak amid reports of rising number of cases of this dreaded disease.

Reports from Didipio villagers in Kasibu town indicated that, at least 14 residents were already afflicted with the virus since last month. A small-scale miner who refused to be named said that his three brothers were downed by dengue recently.

The mineral-rich Barangay Didipio, located between Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino provinces, is dominated by indigenous tribes, many of them employed by an Asia-Pacific mining firm which is a national government-sanctioned multibillion-peso gold-copper project.

Disputing such possible outbreak, provincial health officials said health personnel sent to Kasibu town’s Didipio village to verify reports of increasing number of villagers afflicted with the dreaded disease did not see such a possibility.

“We are conducting IEC [information, education campaign] activities in Didipio to prevent the possible outbreak of dengue there,” said Dr. Edwin Galapon, provincial health officer, disputing reports that there was already an outbreak of the disease in the area.

Only two dengue cases were monitored in the area who are now being confined at a hospital in neighboring Quirino province, according to provincial health officials.

Spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, dengue is a deadly viral disease that has been one of the major causes of death in the country. Its major symptoms include extreme high fever, nausea, vomiting and skin rashes.

Leander C. Domingo

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