After COVID-19 and recent cholera outbreak downed many residents in Eastern Visayas, it's now dengue plaguing the the region, as confirmed by the Department of Health (DOH).
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease from the bites the female of the species Aedes aegypti.
From January 1 to November 22 this year, DOH8 has recorded 15 deaths out of 5,616 dengue patients.
The casualties were from Ormoc City, Jaro and Tolosa in Leyte province; Taft and Hernani in Eastern Samar; Maasin City, Liloan, Padre Burgos, Saint Bernard, and San Juan in Southern Leyte.
Of the 5,616 patients, 2,400 were from Leyte province, 1,397 in Southern Leyte, 564 in Samar, 430 in Eastern Samar, 541 in Biliran, and 284 in Northern Samar.
Clustering Of Cases
Records also show that eight villages in Ormoc City, Tacloban City, Leyte, Northern Samar, and Southern Leyte provinces have a clustering of cases or have had three to four infected in the past four weeks.
What is also alarming, according to DOH8, is that the number of dengue patients this year is 682 percent higher compared to the same period in 2021 with just 718 cases and no deaths recorded.
However, DOH8 said the increase in the number of cases was expected based on the recorded 26,263 dengue fever cases and 75 deaths for the entire year in 2019.
“The DOH records an increase of dengue fever cases in the region, based on the pattern, that case usually rises every three to four years. This is expected considering that the last outbreak was experienced last 2019,” DOH regional information officer Jelyn Lopez-Malibago said in a phone interview with Philippine News Agency (PNA).
Taken For Granted?
Considering the anticipated occurrence, local governments seemed to have taken things for granted and did not do much prevention efforts and began only when cases started to rise.
For its part, the DOH8 said it had already strengthened its surveillance, health promotion, education, and advocacy activities and has conducted meetings with local governments and other partner agencies to mitigate the further increase of cases and deaths caused by dengue.
4 S Strategy
The public is also being reminded to keep the surroundings clean and free from possible breeding areas for the mosquitoes and to remember practicing the “4 S” especially in this month of November where dengue mosquito breeding season peaks.
The "4 S" strategy includes search and destroy mosquito breeding places, seeking early consultation, self-protection methods, and support fogging/spraying only in hot spot areas, where an increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an outbreak.
“Makaradlok actually labi na para hit kabataan intalon. Yana bisan hiranat pala gin papacheck up nala intalon dayon kay bangin dengue na,” Lee, a resident from Tolosa told OpinYon 8.
Lee and several other residents in the municipality are taking their own precautionary measures by using “tap-ong” or the process of burning coconut husks or egg trays that produces a good amount of smoke to kill mosquitoes around their homes usually around sunset.