DOH declares national dengue epidemic to identify localized responses

By Baretang Bikolnon Staff

The Department of Health (DOH) declared national dengue epidemic, August 6, to identify where a localized response is needed.

According to Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, it is important that a national epidemic be declared in the afffected areas to identify where a localized response is needed, and to enable the local government units to use their Quick Response Fund to address the epidemic situation.

Number of Cases

DOH recorded 146,062 cases since January up to July 20 this year, 98% higher than the same period in 2018. There were 622 deaths.

The total number of cases nationwide for the 29th Morbidity Week alone (July 14-20) is 10,502. This is 71% higher compared to the same period in 2018 (6,128 cases).

Based on the DOH Dengue Surveillance Report, Region VI (Western Visayas) had the most number of cases at 23,330, followed by Region IV-A (CALABARZON) with 16,515, Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula) with 12,317, Region X (Northern Mindanao) with 11,455, and Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN) with 11,083 cases.

Meanwhile, seven (7) out of these seventeen (17) regions have exceeded the epidemic threshold of dengue in their regions for the past three consecutive weeks. These regions are: Region IV-A (CALABARZON) with 16,515 cases; MIMAROPA – 4,254; V (Bicol) with 3,470; VI (Western Visayas) with 23,330; VIII (Eastern Visayas) with 7,199; IX (Zamboanga Peninisula) with 12, 317; and X (Northern Mindanao) with 11,455 cases.

Other regions exceeded the alert threshold level, such as Region I (Ilocos) with 4,396 cases; VII (Central Visayas) with 10,728; and BARMM (Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao) with 2,301.

Bicol region

The DOH in Legazpi City reported that the region has reached an alarming level of dengue incidence with a total of 3,631 cases and 37 deaths from January 1 to July 27 this year. It noted that children, ages 4 months to 10 years old, are the most affected.

The Department of Health-Bicol had earlier identified 33 dengue hotspots in the Bicol region. Camarines Sur had the highest number of cases with 1,433 followed by Albay – 679, Sorsogon, 653; Catanduanes, 485; Masbate, 242; and Camarines Norte, 135. Four other cases were recorded in unknown parts of Bicol.

As of July 20, Albay has recorded 595 dengue cases with 10 deaths as of July 13. The hotspots are Barangays Alobo, Anislag, Busay, Salvacion and Villahermosa in Daraga; Taysan in Legazpi City and Cale in Tiwi.

An “Anti-Dengue Special Working Day” was held, July 29, in Sorsogon province while Governor Antonio Kho recently declared August 5 as the Anti-Dengue Special Working Day in Masbate.

Meanwhile, Dengue Blue Alert status declared in Camarines Sur.

DOH together with other government agencies, LGUs, schools, offices, and communities already conducted the Sabayang 4-O’clock Habit para Deng-Get Out, focusing on search and destroy of mosquito breeding sites – one of the primary interventions of the department.

Local health offices are already practicing the 4S strategy. It stands for “Search and Destroy” mosquito breeding places, “Self-protection measures”, “Seek early consultation” for fever as early as one day, and “Say yes to fogging” during an impending outbreak.

Dr. Renato Bolo Jr., acting Sorsogon provincial health officer, pointed out that there should be a synchronized and consistent practice of the 4S to eradicate the disease-carrying mosquitoes for good.

“Panatilihin nating malinis ang ating paligid sapagkat ito ay isang pangunahing solusyon sa pagsugpo ng dengue. Lagi po nating tatandaan na ang 4S ay magiging epektibo pag may kasamang sipag,” Bolo stated.

( with report from PIA5 / featured image from DOH press conference)

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