ILOILO City – Cases of dengue fever in this southern city have dropped below the epidemic threshold, according to the City Health Office (CHO).
“But we should not be complacent. We need to continue our anti-dengue activities in schools and barangays. The regular clean-up drive to get rid of mosquito breeding places must be sustained,” said Dr. Annabelle Tang, the CHO officer-in-charge.
From Jan. 1 to 4, this year, the Iloilo City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (ICESU) recorded seven cases of dengue with zero deaths.
Last year, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, it recorded 3,329 dengue cases with 16 deaths, and an attack rate of 701 per 100,000 population.
The 2019 dengue cases were 278.7 percent higher than 2018’s cases.
The Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) declared a state of calamity due to dengue in July 2019.
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 aegypti) that live and breed and clean, stagnant water.
The surge in dengue cases last year resulted to hospitals bursting at the seams with patients. There was a shortage in hospital rooms, beds, doctors, and nurses.
The demand for blood (for blood transfusion to dengue patients) also spiked.
Mayor Jerry Treñas said CHO needed 13 more doctors to boost its services, especially against dengue.
In Iloilo province, dengue cases were dropping, too. Data from the provincial government’s Hospital Management Office as of the first week of January showed nine dengue patients remaining in district hospitals and there were no more new dengue hospital admissions.
The number of cases was now below the “alert threshold”, said Provincial Health Office’s (PHO) Dr. Patricia Grace Trabado.
“There is an epidemic threshold and alert threshold. By the 49th morbidity week, we were already below the alert level,” said Trabado.
By the 50th morbidity week (Dec. 8 to 14, 2019), PHO recorded 36 cases and 24 of Iloilo’s 43 local government units (LGUs) recorded no new cases.
These 24 LGUs were Cabatuan, Passi City, Maasin, Sara, Ajuy, Leon, Janiuay, San Dionisio, Banate, Concepcion, Leganes, Tigbauan, Miag-ao, Dueñas, Igbaras, New Lucena, Mina, Zarraga, Bingawan, Barotac Viejo, San Enrique, Lemery, San Rafael, and Tubungan.
Last year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 14 PHO recorded 22,040 dengue cases with 78 deaths. This was 882 percent higher than 2018’s PHO-recorded 2,244 cases with six deaths and 2017’s 1,321 cases with eight deaths./PN