BAGUIO CITY: Regional health authorities here disclosed that dengue fever cases in the first 10 months rose to 6,899 or more than double the 3,431 cases recorded during the same period last year.

From January 1 to November 1, the Department of Health-Cordillera Autonomous Region (DoH-CAR) reported that there were 11 dengue-related deaths in the region – eight of them from Region 1 and three from non-CAR provinces – compared to the 10 deaths during the same period last year.

The report said the dengue cases were from Kalinga with 1,210; Apayao, 1,203 cases; Benguet, 1,083; Abra, 913; Ifugao, 719; Baguio City, 505; Mountain Province, 243; and non-CAR provinces, 1,023.

Of the 11 dengue-related deaths in the region, Karen Lonogan, senior health program officer of the DoH-CAR’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit (RESU), said there were two deaths each in Abra, Benguet and Baguio City; one each in Ifugao and Kalinga; and three deaths from non-CAR provinces but were given medical treatment in the medical facilities in the different parts of the region

She said there were more males — 3,665 or 53 percent of the total number — afflicted with dengue fever than females.

Those afflicted with dengue fever ranged in age from four days to 96 years with a median of 17 years.

Lonogan admitted said there were laboratory-confirmed dengue viruses for each of the provinces from 2014 to 2018 and a clustering of cases was also noted in all the Cordillera provinces warranting the implementation of appropriate health interventions from the different district health units regionwide.

Dengue fever is caused by any of the four types of dengue viruses; all of these strains are present in CAR.

Lonogan said an infected day-biting female aedes mosquito transmits the viral disease to humans and that the number of dengue cases may spike during the rainy season and may reach widespread proportions if preventive measures or control are not immediately undertaken by concerned health authorities.

She added that the dengue cases for the first semester of this year did not reach epidemic levels but for the third quarter, the number significantly increased.

Health authorities have recommended the following measures for the prevention of dengue: search and destroy the dengue virus-bearing mosquitos, take self-protection measures, seek early consultation and say no to indiscriminate fogging.