LOCAL governments in Isabela and Mindanao are pushing for intensified anti-dengue measures to fight the seasonal rise in cases seen there and in other areas of the country.
In Ilagan City, Isabela, the start of the rainy season spurred the City Council to propose the formation of anti-dengue task force to conduct a clean-up drive in the city’s 91 barangays.
A city health official was unable to provide a specific figure for the number of dengue cases in Ilagan, but said “they seem to be increasing,” and that the office of Mayor Evelyn Diaz, who is herself a Registered Nurse, supported the call by the Council for increased vigilance against the mosquito-borne illness.
In General Santos City in South Cotabato, interventions against a rise in dengue cases were likewise implemented, after nine deaths were attributed to the illness, according to a report from the Philippine News Agency.
The City Health Office there has recorded nearly 600 cases of dengue fever since the beginning of the year, but said that the number has increased sharply since the beginning of the rainy season in June.
Last week, the CHO reported two deaths due to dengue hemorrhagic fever involving two and three-year-old children.
But on Saturday, another suspected death due to dengue was reported involving a 15-year-old girl from Barangay Bawing here.
According to her family, victim Kimberly Mascardo, a high school student, succumbed to complications caused by stage 4 dengue three days after exhibiting its symptoms.
Dr. Mely Lastimoso, chief of the CHO’s epidemiology and surveillance unit, said the city’s dengue cases have so far reached the “alert threshold.”
She said the dengue deaths in the area so far account for 1.8 percent of the total cases or nearly double its 1 percent threshold.
Barangay Fatima here has been identified by the Department of Health central office as a dengue hotspot since June due to the emergence of two to four confirmed cases on a weekly basis, she said.
“Since the rainy season started last June, our dengue cases have increased significantly, and everybody should be concerned about this,” she said.
She advised residents to immediately seek assistance or submit for check-up at rural health stations those that exhibit on and off fever even for just one day.
Patients with fever should be kept rehydrated and they may avail of free oresol or oral rehydration solutions at barangay health stations, she said.
Meantime, aside from the clean-up drive, Mayor Ronnel Rivera said he has directed personnel at the city government-run Dr. Jorge Royeca Hospital to keep its special dengue lane open at all times.
“I also tasked them to ensure the comfort of our patients,” he said.
The mayor said also mobilized were other units of the city government to take part in the campaign against dengue.
“We’re addressing this side by side right now and we’re looking at some other ways to effectively contain this disease,” he added.