By Mike Crismundo
BUTUAN CITY –Dengue cases in Northeastern Mindanao or Caraga region continued to rise, with 15 deaths reported since the start of the year.
The death toll is much higher than that during the same period last year when only one dengue-related death was recorded, health authorities here said.
The age of the fatalities ranged from 2 years to 21 years.
In its 12th Morbidity Week Report obtained by Manila Bulletin on Saturday, the Department of Health’s (DOH) regional office said 4,808 cases admitted to the different disease reporting units region-wide from Jan. 1 to March 22.
The number is 517.2 percent higher than that of last year’s with 779 cases, the report said.
By province, Agusan del Sur had the biggest number with of dengue cases with 1,086, followed by Butuan City with 992, Surigao del Sur with 794, Agusan del Norte with 415, Surigao City with 394, and Surigao del Norte with 358.
In a recent media forum, DOH Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Dr. Gerna Manatad encouraged the general public to continue dengue prevention by continuously maintaining cleanliness in the surroundings.
DOH Regional Director Dr. Jose R. Llacuna, Jr. advised Caraga residents to eliminate mosquito breeding sites such as rain barrels, drums, pails and other water containers, discarded tires, bottles and tin cans, garbage cans, clogged roof and gutters, coconut shells, tree holes and bamboo stumps.
Dengue is caused by the bite of dengue-infected mosquitoes. It is characterized by moderate to high grade fever of two to seven days, headaches, retro-orbital pain, muscle and joint pains, vomiting, abdominal pain, minor and major bleeding and decreased platelets.