PHO FEARS DENGUE OUTBREAK State of calamity in 231 villages pushed

ILOILO – Barangays with clustering cases of dengue can declare a state of calamity, according to the Provincial Health Office (PHO).

PHO data showed 231 barangays with clustering of cases, or three or more cases within four consecutive weeks.

Declaring a state of calamity allows these barangays to use their calamity funds to purchase needed materials against dengue mosquitoes such as larvicides and adulticides, said Dr. Ma. Socorro Colmenares-Quiñon of PHO.

The province has 1,721 barangays.

Larvicides are products used to reduce immature mosquito populations when they are still in the water.

Larvicides, which can be biological or chemical, are applied directly to water sources that hold mosquito eggs and larvae. When used well, these can help reduce the overall mosquito population by limiting the number of new mosquitoes produced.

On the other hand, adulticides are products that rapidly reduce adult mosquito populations. This can become necessary when larval control measures are insufficient or not feasible.

As of Sept. 10 (36th morbidity week), PHO said dengue cases already reached 6,808 with 15 deaths.

But Quiñon believed dengue already peaked on the 31st morbidity week (July 31 to Aug. 6) with 865 new cases recorded. The weeks after this, the number of new dengue cases reported dropped – 705 in the 32nd morbidity week and 625 in the 32rd morbidity, and so on, said Quiñon.

However, the decline was slow, she said, and this was why PHO recommended chemical spraying.

“Twenty to 30 days ang lifespan sang adult mosquitoes so they can bite more people. We have to kill them,” Quiñon stressed.

Citing National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Memorandum Order No. 4-1998 for the declaration of a state of calamity, Quiñon said once two or more barangays declare a dengue outbreak, the municipality can declare a state of calamity through its Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Likewise, she said, if two or more towns declare outbreaks, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council can do the same for the whole province.

The Department of Health (DOH) recently gave PHO with adulticides (144 bottles) but Quiñon said these were not enough.

Under the NDCC memorandum order, for disease epidemics or outbreaks a city or municipality, province or region may be declared under a state of calamity when:

* there is an unusual (more than what’s previously expected) number of cases of a disease in a given area or among specific groups of people over a particular period of time; to determine whether the number is more than the expected, it should be compared with the number of cases during the past weeks or months or a comparable period in few years (at least five years); and

* there is a clustering of cases./PN


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