WV’s Jan. to July dengue cases highest in 10 years

ILOILO – Dengue cases in Western Visayas this year (as of July 17) reached 27,630 with 126 deaths – the highest in 10 years, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

Iloilo province has the most number of cases at 10,597 with 38 deaths, followed by Negros Occidental (4,484 cases with 28 deaths), Capiz (4,239 cases with 18 deaths) and Aklan (3,504 cases with 17 deaths).

Data from DOH showed the following dengue statistics in the past decade:

* 2009 – 5,271

* 2010 – 27,401

* 2011 – 3,167

* 2012 – 11,880

* 2013 – 22,461

* 2014 – 8,513

* 2015 – 10,418

* 2016 – 26,440

* 2017 – 10,557

* 2018 – 17,422

DOH data further showed that so far this year Iloilo City has 1,387 cases (10 deaths), Antique with 1,297 cases (seven deaths), Guimaras with 1,206 cases (three deaths), and Bacolod City with 858 cases (four deaths).

DOH also recorded 58 cases (with one death) contracted outside Western Visayas but diagnosed in the region.

“Ang balantayan ang Antique and the southern portion of Iloilo kay medyo amat-amat na saka. If possible indi na naton paghulaton nga ma-experience ang na-experience sang areas like Pototan and Maasin,” said Dr. Jessie Glen Alonsabe, head of DOH Region 6’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit.

The latest dengue figures were 327 percent higher than the cases recorded last year (Jan. 1 to July 17) at 6,476 with 48 deaths.

The age group which registered dengue-related deaths were the following:

* 10 years old – 78

* 11 to 20 years old – 20

* 31 to 40 years old – eight

* 21 to 30 years old – six

* 41 to 50 years old – five

* 51 and above – five

* below one year old – four

On the other hand, 1,373 barangays across the region had a clustering of cases (three or more cases in four consecutive weeks) – one-third of Western Visayas’ 4,051 villages.

DOH data also showed that the daily average hospital admission due to dengue from January to July 27 was 132.

Dr. Marlyn Convocar, DOH regional director, reiterated the importance of the 4S strategy against dengue. It stands for search and destroy mosquitoes’ breeding places, self-protection measures, seek early consultation for fever lasting more than two days, and say “no” to indiscriminate fogging.

Dengue is caused by day-biting Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes that breed in clear, stagnant water.

When local governments fail to invest in dengue preventive measures, outbreaks ensue, according to Health secretary Francisco Duque who visited Iloilo city province on July 25.

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./PN

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