ILOILO City – Dengue cases in Western Visayas are on the decline but remain above the epidemic threshold, data from the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the Department of Health (DOH) showed.
DOH Region 6 senior program health officer Josef Alexander Denila said from Jan. 1 to Aug. 10, the region recorded 36,117 cases with 164 deaths – a 362 percent increase from the 7,819 cases and 57 deaths recorded in the same period last year.
However, Denila said, from morbidity week (MW) 28 in the second week of July to MW 29, cases began to decline by about five percent – from 4,466 to 4,250, and further to 3,912 the following week.
“We peaked at morbidity week 29 and from there, we started to decline,” Denila said, noting that cases in Aklan started to plateau.
Those in Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, and Negros Occidental were declining also, while those in Iloilo province and Iloilo City were on a downward trend but remained erratic.
Guimaras still had the highest attack rate and with the highest increase in cases.
The decrease in cases is being attributed to the vigilance of the public to seek early consultation; good surveillance conducted by health officials; and vector control measures initiated by local government units, among others.
“Considering that it is still erratic, as much as possible we should not be complacent. We know for a fact that as long as the vector is there, they can still transmit the dengue virus,” said medical program coordinator, Dr. Rosemarie Lamirez.
Lamirez said they received guidelines from the central office on how to conduct proper monitoring of cases from the regional down to the household level.
“There is a set of questionnaires to assure the proper care and management of dengue cases and also determine what is being done in response to the dengue outbreak,” she said.
While a national epidemic has been declared, DOH records showed the provinces of Iloilo, Aklan, and Guimaras; the towns of Culasi, Balete, and Tobias Fornier in Antique; Maasin, Iloilo; Balete, Aklan; Sigma, Capiz; Cauayan, Negros Occidental and Iloilo City have already been placed under a state of calamity due to dengue. (PNA)