By Anne Hazel Fajardo-Flores
SAN FERNANDO CITY, June 28 (PIA) – The Department of Health – Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) in Ilocos recorded a 44 percent decrease in dengue cases in the region as of June 16.
During a Kapihan sa Ilocos program conducted by the Philippine Information Agency on June 24, the DOH-CHD said the number of cases from January to June is at 1,376 which is lower than the number of cases reported in the same period in 2019 which is at 2,460.
Further, the recorded cases were mostly identified from the province of Pangasinan at 944 from 1,253 cases in 2019, followed by Ilocos Sur at 143 from 499.
The provinces of La Union and Ilocos Norte recorded 108 cases from 295 and 97 from 343, respectively, while Dagupan City is at 84 from 70 cases.
“Despite the significant decrease on the dengue cases, our residents must not be complacent since it is just the start of the rainy season,” said DOH-CHD entomologist Engr. Glenda R. Cabauatan.
She also said that the decrease may also be attributed to the two month-long quarantine of residents who were able to sanitize and thoroughly clean the inside and outside of their homes.
According to Cabauatan, residents are still advised to adhere to DOH-CHD’s program on ‘Mag-4S Laban sa Dengue’ which promotes a healthy and safe environment in communities.
“Ang 4S campaign natin ay kailangan nating paigtingin upang masigurado na tayo ay ligtas sa nakamamatay na sakit na dulot ng 'aedes egypti' na uri ng lamok,” she added.
The 4S program of the agency articulates the search and destroy of possible breeding sites of dengue-carrier mosquitoes such as plastic containers, bottles, old tires, food waste residuals, and even in plants, and other capturing receptacles of stagnant waters.
Apart from this, residents were also advised to practice self-protection measures like wearing long-sleeves and sleeping pants or pajamas, and to seek early consultation if experiencing two to three days fever.
Other symptoms of possible dengue fever are nausea, vomiting, visible rashes, body aches, and pains such as eye, muscle and joint or bone pains.
Further, severe dengue fever symptoms include bleeding of gums or nose; severe abdominal pains; blood in urine, stool or vomit; bruising-like skin appearance; and difficulty in breathing.
Moreover, indiscriminate fogging is not encouraged but can be done only if there is an outbreak in a certain community.
DOH data showed that despite the decrease, there are nine deaths in Pangasinan and one in La Union as of June 16 this year.
In her closing message, Cabauatan said, “We enjoin our residents to be vigilant against this deadly disease and keep ourselves hygienic and make sure that our surroundings are clean, sanitized and free from stagnant waters.”
Dengue Awareness Month is celebrated in June of every year by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1204, series of 1998 to highlight how prevention and control of dengue would require collaborative efforts among the national and local government units as well as private sectors in the community. (JCR/AMB/AHFF/PIA-1)