By Betheena Unite
Dengue cases in the Philippines continue to rise, with the Department of Health (DOH) recording 14,321 new cases that brought the total number of cases recorded this year to 188,562.
The DOH’s Epidemiology Bureau revealed that the 14,321 new dengue cases were reported from July 28 to August 3. Within this period, 46 deaths were reported.
Nine out of 17 regions have already exceeded the epidemic threshold of dengue cases, the Epidemiology Bureau added.
Caraga Region during this period has exceeded its alert threshold while Regions IV-A, IV-B, V, VI, VIII, IX, X, XII, and BARMM have already exceeded the epidemic threshold.
The newly reported cases, according to the DOH, were 76 percent higher compared to the cases recorded in the same period last year.
The 188,562 cumulative cases reported from January 1 to August 3 this year was also higher than the 93,149 cases dengue cases recorded in the same period last year.
It added that of the 188,562 dengue cases this year, 88,452 were tested for laboratory confirmation.
A national dengue epidemic was earlier declared after hundreds of deaths due to dengue were recorded this year.
It was declared in order to identify where localize response is needed.
The cumulative number of dengue cases from January to August is also nearing the projected spike of dengue cases by the end of the year.
In June, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III expressed concern over the continuous rise of dengue cases, saying the country might reach 240,000 cases this year.
In Quezon City, Mayor Joy Belmonte has ordered an intensified anti-dengue drive in the city’s 10 barangays with the most number of dengue cases.
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The 10 barangays are Barangays Fairview, Payatas, Commonwealth, Holy Spirit, Batasan Hills, Pasong Tamo, Bagong Silangan, Bagbag, Tandang Sora, and Tatalon.
There are 3,502 dengue cases in Quezon City with 29 deaths from January to August 10, 2019. This is 15 percent lower compared to the same period last year.
Belmonte said the Quezon City Health Department and barangay health workers are intensifying the daily search and destroy and spraying efforts in the affected barangays.
Aside from this, Belmonte also issued a memorandum mandating public schools to encourage students to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
“This is one of the city’s immediate actions as we learned that the age group most hit by dengue is children one to 10 years old,” Belmonte stressed.
Belmonte assured that the local government is intensifying its awareness campaign, clean-up drives, and spraying as part of measures to combat dengue.
She called on residents to cooperate with the local government’s efforts to fight dengue, especially spraying, which has been long proven to be effective in preventing an outbreak of dengue cases.
“Simultaneously, we are employing active fever surveillance and the use of NS1 rapid diagnostic tests to diagnose dengue early. Once dengue is detected, our health workers immediately address it to avoid further complications,” she added.
Belmonte also reminded residents to always adhere to the DOH’s 5S campaign to fight dengue: SEARCH and destroy mosquito breeding sites; employ SELF-PROTECTION measures (i.e wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts, and daily use of mosquito repellent); SEEK early consultation; SUPPORT fogging/spraying; and SUSTAIN hydration by drinking plenty of fluids when sick. (With a report from Chito Chavez)