By URIEL C. QUILINGUING
with NITZ ARANCON
DENGUE cases reached 1,156 and claimed 11 lives in Cagayan de Oro during the first six months of this year, prompting the City Health Office to launch a citywide house-to-house information campaign.
Dr. Fe Bongcas, city health officer, said this year’s confirmed dengue cases from 13 of the city’s 80 barangays almost doubled or registered a 97-percent increase over last year’s 585, for the same six-month period.
Bongcas said Barangay Carmen had the most number of dengue patients while the 12 other villages with confirmed cases—in that order— were Canitoan, Lumbia, Balulang, Lapasan, Patag, Kauswagan, Gusa, Iponan, Bugo, Bulua, Macabalan, and Macasandig.
Bongcas said those who died were mostly children.
Mayor Oscar Moreno, with Councilor Maria Lourdes Gaane, who chairs the city council’s health committee, joined the CHO-initiated launch program that included distribution of car stickers with a dengue prevention message.
“Ang among gihimo karon ang pagpamilit sa mga stickers nga nagpahinomdoman sa paglikay sa dengue,” Bongcas said.
Meanwhile, the provincial health office of Bukidnon confirmed that it recorded Northern Mindanao’s most number of 4,534 dengue cases for the first half of this year.
Provincial dengue coordinator Gabriel Jay Pagote, in an RMN Malaybalay interview, said the recorded number of dengue incidence was 89 percent higher than those listed during the 2018 January to July 15 period.
Pagote said the city heath offices of Malaybalay and Valencia reported they had 829 and 626 cases, respectively, while municipalities with relatively high cases of dengue were Maramag (484), Quezon (376), Don Carlos (328), Manolo Fortich (224) and Kibawe (173).
On Tuesday (July 16), Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo declared a nationwide dengue epidemic and ordered all regional health offices to declare blue alert on all government hospitals and health facilities due to the dengue outbreak.
The DOH recorded 106,630 dengue cases and 456 deaths nationwide for the January to June 30 period, way beyond the 2018 figure for the same period of 57,564 and 317 fatalities.
Among regions, Northern Mindanao was fifth in statistical ranking with 8,739 dengue cases for this year’s January to June 29 period. Of the region’s dengue patients this year, 25 of them, mostly five to nine years old, had died.
Western Visayas or Region 6 had the highest number of cases of 13,164 for the first six months of this year.
Dengue is a fatal viral disease, the flavivirus of which is transmitted through mosquito bites, particularly from nocturnal Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species. Symptoms include recurring fever from two to seven days, headaches, body weakness, joint and muscle pains, pain behind the eyes, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea and rashes.
In its dengue prevention campaign, health officials urged every Filipino to ensure cleanliness of the surroundings to get rid of mosquitoes.
Since there’s no treatment for dengue, Bongcas echoed DOH’s “4s” to combat the dengue menace:
• search and destroy mosquito breeding sites;
• self-protection by wearing long-sleeves and use of insect repellents;
• seek early consultation once there are signs and symptoms are detected; and
• say yes to fogging if there is an impending outbreak.
Bongcas reminded the public to make sure there are no open containers that can be turned into breeding grounds of mosquitoes.
She said dengue is preventable though “pero dili ma-prevent kining maon sakit kon dili kita manglimpiyo sa atong palibot.”