By URIEL C. QUILINGUING
Contributing Editor .
THE number of people who sought medical assistance in hospitals due to dengue has been on a downtrend in the last three weeks, according to an epidemiologist of the City Health Office.
Dr. Joselito Retuya, who heads the health office’s diseases surveillance unit, said there were 2,210 dengue cases, based on hospital admissions, as of Aug. 23 which closes the 34th week, this year.
Nine of the 15 who died in Cagayan de Oro-based hospitals were city residents, six of them are under validation, Retuya said on Friday.
Alarmed by the spike of dengue cases, Councilor Ma. Lourdes Gaane, who heads the City Council’s health and sanitation committee, said she recommended the state of calamity declaration so that calamity funds could be released to address the urgent needs of extending medical assistance.
“Gabantayan gyud nato ni kay medyo taas,” Gaane told reporters Tuesday.
Retuya, who has been tracking mosquito-borne dengue fever and other diseases in the city’s 80 barangays for almost three decades, said he noticed a decreasing trend of dengue cases the past three weeks.
He said his office recorded 120 cases of dengue during the Aug. 17-23 period, 48 lower than the previous week (Aug. 10-16), and 80 further down compared to Aug. 3-9, the 32nd week of the year.
“Pinakadaghan sa (most cases) Week 31 (July 27 to Aug. 2) nga naa tay 209 ka mga kaso (when we had 209 cases), but there have been dengue cases since January,” Retuya told the Gold Star Daily.
He said there have been dengue cases every year, and the most number ever recorded in Cagayan de Oro was in 2014 when there were 3,647 cases while the least in the last 10 years was 2011 with 816. There were 2,840 dengue patients in the city last year.