DOH bares cost-effective tactic vs dengue

An Iloilo City Health Office personnel sprays pesticide in this classroom at Tabucan Elementary School in Mandurriao district to eradicate dengue mosquitoes. This is supposedly the last resort if all other measures fail to exterminate the mosquitoes. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN

ILOILO City – Barangays should have a greater role in the campaign to curb the spread of dengue, according to the Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas.

DOH noted a clustering of dengue cases (three or more cases recorded in four successive weeks) in 121 barangays in Region 6.

It is thus advancing the campaign ABKD or Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue.

Dr. Elvie Villalobos, head of DOH-6 infectious and emerging disease cluster, said ABKD makes the 4S anti-dengue strategy a cost-effective method.

The 4S strategy stands for “search and destroy” mosquito breeding places; “self-protection” from mosquito bites; “seek early consultation” when signs and symptoms of dengue occur; and “say yes to fogging” as a last resort when there is a looming outbreak.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection causing a severe flu-like illness that could sometimes be fatal. Its carriers are day-biting mosquitoes (Aedes albpictus and Aedes egypti) that live and breed and clean, stagnant water.

Villalobos said barangay officials should lead and sustain the 4S strategy daily.


Cases of dengue (8,613 with 48 deaths) in Western Visayas from January to June 1 this year were significantly higher (by 198 percent) than last year’s 2,886 with 23 deaths for the same period.

Ma. Lourdes Monegro, DOH-6 regional entomologist, said the age range of patients was between one month old to 88 years old, but the age group with the most number of cases was between one to 10 years old.

Iloilo province had the most number of cases (2,516 with 12 deaths) followed by Negros Occidental (2,277 with 17 deaths), DOH-6 data showed. [As of June 15, the Provincial Health Office data showed Iloilo’s cases to have risen to 2,778 with 15 deaths.]

According to DOH-6, Capiz province came in third (1,245 cases with seven deaths), followed by Aklan (1,019 with five deaths), Iloilo City (557 with four deaths), Bacolod City (433 with one death), Antique (285 with two deaths), Guimaras (187 cases), and others, 94 (dengue contracted from other regions but detected in Western Visayas).

Monegro said Aklan has the “highest attack rate” at 168 percent while the province of Guimaras had the highest increase (884 percent).


In Iloilo province, of the 2,778 cases, 1,300 were children 10 years old and below while 946 more were between 11 to 20 years old. Eighty-seven cases were children less than one year old.

According to Dr. Maria Socorro Colmenares Quiñon of the Iloilo Provincial Health Offoce, dengue cases were rising.

“Gusto naton tani magamay lang ang kaso, indi na magdamo. The more kaso, the more chances of dying,” said Quiñon.

All age groups are affected, PHO data showed – 21 to 30 years old, 261 cases; 41 years old and above, 95 cases.

The 15 Iloilo dengue deaths were in the following municipalities: Pototan (a 33-year-old woman and a six-year-old girl), Concepcion (a four-year-old girl, a four-year-old boy, a 30-year-old man, and six-year-old boy), Santa Barbara (a 70-year-old woman), Pavia (a seven-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl), New Lucena (a 32-year-old woman), Bingawan (a nine-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl), Dueñas (a 12-year-old boy), Banate (an 11-year-old girl and a 12-year-old girl).

Quiñon said people with dengue symptoms should immediately see the doctor. These symptoms include sudden high fever, severe headaches, pain behind the eyes, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, skin rash which appears two to five days after the onset of fever, mild bleeding (such a nose bleed, bleeding gums, or easy bruising)./PN


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