Friday, February 8, 2008

Dengue cases in Central Visayas rise over 50%

Cebu City (6 February) -- Just five weeks since the year started, dengue cases in the region have posted over 50 percent growth while fatality rate tripled in number compared to the same period last year as health officials in the region urged more community involvement in the fight against the dengue disease.

Department of Health (DOH-7) data showed that 512 dengue cases have already been recorded from January to the 1st week of February this year compared to only 308 cases for the same period in 2007; an increase of 66 percent in incidence rate.

Out of the 512 cases, 12 deaths were documented compared to only four deaths in 2007.

Cebu City has consistently been the hardest hit in both morbidity and mortality rate recording 136 dengue cases out of the 512 and eight out of the 12 deaths. The other four deaths recorded came from Danao City, Lapulapu City, Consolacion and Oriental Negros, this is learned.

The dense population and congested areas resulting to rapid transmission of the virus has been a major factor that attributed to Cebu City's highest incidence rate, bared Renan Cimafranca, the DOH-7-Regional Epidemiology Services Unit (RESU) Nurse.

Top five barangays in Cebu City with the highest incidence rate of dengue cases are Labangon, Guadalupe, Apas, Lahug and Talamban. The DOH-7 in partnership with the Cebu City Health Office (CCHO) is conducting an entomological survey of the said barangays to determine the common breeding sites of the Aedes Egypti Mosquitoes to serve as baseline before conducting a 'search and destroy' mission of these sites, Cimafranca said.

Based on their survey, findings showed that used tires and cans that store clean and stagnant water were found to be positive of the larvae of the dengue-carrier vector, the DOH-7-RESU nurse claimed.

Because of the growing incidence of dengue cases in the country, the DOH will launch a nationwide intensified advocacy and education campaign drive on February 21 as the DOH-7 conducted a half-day consultative meeting today on anti-dengue campaign with various partners and stakeholders.

7 dengue labs set up in Cebu City

CCHO director Dr. Fe Cabugao during the meeting said seven satellite laboratories have been set up to handle dengue cases in strategic areas namely Pardo, Pari-an, Guadalupe, Bo. Luz, Mabolo, Talamban and Punta Princesa.

These satellite labs offer free Complete Blood Count (CBC) and platelet count tests, Cabugao further said.

The satellite laboratories are open from Monday until Saturday during office hours and beyond that, must be referred to the Cebu City Medical Center where a fast lane for dengue cases have also been arranged, according to Cabugao.

Cabugao said the Cebu City Government last October has appropriated P5M for the dengue program after declaring calamity areas to identified barangays having high incidence of dengue cases.

Last year, Cebu City recorded a total of 53 deaths from dengue.

DOH-7 Regional Director Susana Madarieta said that the DOH-Central Office plans to conduct a training for private and public doctors on the clinical management of dengue this last week of February.

Madarieta stressed the participation and involvement of the community to fight the dengue problem especially in cleaning immediate surroundings and destroying possible breeding sites of the dengue-carrier mosquitoes which is the most effective prevention method.

Central Visayas last year topped nationwide in the ranking of fatality rate of dengue and placed fourth in the morbidity rate. (PIA-Cebu/FCR)

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