By Minerva Newman
TAGBILARAN CITY – Bohol provincial health authorities are alarmed at the high number of dengue cases recorded in the province from January to June 13 this year at 2,481, which is already 37.83 percent higher over the data recorded in the same period last year, according to Bohol dengue campaign focal person Leonidas Saniel in a recent Kapihan sa PIA (Philippine Information Agency) forum.
“Although we only have 13 deaths, or .05 percent case fatality rate, this year compared to the 17 deaths, or .09 percent case fatality rate, in 2019, the figure is very alarming,” Saniel said
Saniel showed a table reflecting the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit-7 (RESU -7) report showing that Talibon town topped in admissions and consultations, and had four deaths. The data did not tell if the admission happened in the early stages of the disease, he added.
The towns of Talibon, Tubigon, and Tagbilaran City made it to the list of top three local government units (LGUs) in Bohol with the highest number of dengue cases and deaths this year, Saniel bared.
Based on the Provincial Health Office’s (PHO) data from January to June 13, Saniel reported that Talibon, which used to rank fourth in 2019, recorded 376 cases and four deaths.
Tubigon, which ranked sixth in 2019, now climbed to second in the list with 194 cases and one death,while Tagbilaran City retained its position as third in the list of highest dengue cases in both 2019 and 2020, Saniel said.
In 2019, Tagbilaran City had 153 cases and four deaths, while this year, it recorded 159 cases and no fatality. “There was no information, however, if those patients were really city residents, considering that people in the towns would rather go for admission in the city hospitals,” Saniel added.
Saniel went on that Clarin town, which was eighth in 2019, ranked fourth this year with 114 dengue cases and zero death; followed by Ubay with 99 cases and two deaths; Getafe town, which was not in the top 10 list in 2019, now ranked sixth with 97 cases and one death, while Loon town went down to seventh this year with 91 cases and no deaths.
The remaining LGUs in the top ten list were Anda, with 87 cases, no deaths; Alicia with 79 cases and zero deaths; and Bien Unido with 72 cases and two deaths, Saniel said.
Saniel said that health authorities involved in the anti-dengue campaign have stressed that prevention, instead of cure, was more important and called on residents to implement the enhanced strategies in the households.
Saniel enumerated the 4S strategies that people must adopt –“Search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites; employ ‘Self-protection measures’ by wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts; use mosquito repellents; Seek early consultation for those with fever and Support fogging/spraying only in hotspot areas where increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks, to prevent an impending outbreak.
As to how dengue cases rose despite Bohol’s campaign in cascading its programs to the towns, barangays and puroks, Saniel noted that people miss the early consultations which were very critical in fevers that last for over two days.
“If you miss the early consultations, you run the risk of bringing in a severely dehydrated and sometimes hemorrhaging patient. By this time, very few patients get through,” Saniel hinted.
Those that evaluated the dengue campaign program noted that due to the focus on the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, dengue was left out in the local health campaigns, Saniel then urged local officials to bring the dengue and COVID-19 campaigns/programs in parallel to curb the numbers of both health problems.