By Martin Sadongdong
A total of 89 individuals have died due to dengue in Western Visayas (Region 6) while 15,803 cases were recorded in Regions 6 and 8 (Eastern Visayas) from January 1 to July 12.
The government, through Health Secretary Francisco Duque declared on Monday a National Dengue Alert due to the rapid increase in the number of dengue cases across the country.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Ricardo Jalad said Negros Occidental has the most number of fatalities with 23, followed by Iloilo with 20 deaths.
Capiz and Aklan reported 15 deaths each while other fatalities were recorded in Iloilo City and Antique with five each; Bacolod City with four; and Guimaras with two.
Most dengue cases were recorded in Iloilo (5,327); followed by Negros Occidental (3,266); Capiz (2,590); and Aklan (2,095).
Other dengue cases were reported in: Iloilo City (718); Antique (670); Bacolod City (572); Guimaras (486), and 22 in other areas in Region 6.
The lone area hit by dengue in Region 8 was Santa Fe town in Leyte where 57 cases were reported with no fatalities.
Jalad also confirmed that a dengue outbreak has been declared in the provinces of Capiz and Guimaras, as well as in Iloilo City.
Meanwhile, the municipal government of Maasin in Iloilo province, and Pontevedra and President Roxas towns in Capiz have declared a state of calamity.
In the NDRRMC situation report, dengue was regarded as “the fastest spreading vector-borne disease in the world” and is endemic in 100 countries.
Dengue, a viral disease with no known vaccine or specific antibiotics, is transmitted by day-biting Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.
Jalad said the NDRRMC has coordinated with concerned agencies in the affected areas to monitor dengue cases such as the Department of Health (DOH), Office of Civil Defense (OCD), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and Regional and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils (R/PDRRMCs).
“Effective surveillance can help in reducing cases and deaths if areas with clustering of cases are identified early,” Jalad said.