ILOILO – It was reported early in March that the municipality of Guimbal was the sole area in this province with no case of dengue.
A case of dengue was recorded in Guimbal before March was over, according to Dr. Patricia Grace Trabado, chief of the Provincial Health Office (PHO).
“Tanan nga mga banwa sa subong may yara na kaso,” lamented Trabado.
This province is made up of 42 towns and one component city, Passi.
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.
Guimbal, located in the southern part of the province, had been dengue-free since the start of the year.
According to the PHO, the province’s dengue cases from January to March 30 reached 1,088 with four deaths – 405 percent higher than the 216 cases recorded in the same period last year.
The five areas with the most number of cases are the following:
* Passi City – 118
* Pototan – 113 with one death
* Calinog – 68
* Pavia – 54
* Bingawan – 53 with one death
The two other dengue deaths were in the towns of Concepcion and New Lucena.
Of the 1,088 cases 565 were children between one t 10 years old.
According to the World Health Organization, individuals should suspect dengue when a high fever (40 degrees centigrade) is accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, nausea / vomiting, swollen glands, muscle and joint pains, and rash.
For severe dengue, the warning signs to look out for are: severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing, bleeding gums, blood in vomit, fatigue, and restlessness.
Trabado stressed the importance of destroying the mosquitoes’ breeding places to stop the spread of dengue.
In late March, the PHO started training its personnel on how to use misting machines to drive away dengue mosquitoes.
Trabado, however, clarified that misting against mosquitoes would only be conducted in areas with clustering of dengue cases (three or more dengue cases recorded in four weeks).
Among these areas were Pototan, Bingawan and Passi City.
Misting, however, only targets adult mosquitoes. Trabado said a different strategy is needed to destroy mosquito eggs – the “search and destroy” method./PN