DUMAGUETE CITY – Negros Oriental health officials disclosed the decrease of dengue cases in the province by 48 percent for the first seven months of this year, January 1 to July 18, and attributed this to the people’s heightened awareness on dengue prevention, and health and hygiene protocols amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to Department of Health (DOH) Provincial Officer Dr. Socrates Vilamor, there were 1,345 dengue cases with two deaths that were reported within the period January to July 18, 2020, while there were 2,607 cases with 17 deaths in 2019.
Villamor said that the decline in dengue cases could mean that people were now more conscious on preventing the spread of dengue disease. “We can consider that as a reason perhaps people are now conscious on preventive measures against dengue,” she added.
In a recent virtual media forum in Dumaguete City, Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion also cited that people were getting more health conscious because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Based on my observation, more people are getting health conscious these days. They are no longer complacent. They are now observing all kinds of health measures. Perhaps therefore cases have gone down this year,” Estacion noted.
Villamor bared that Dumaguete City also registered a big drop in the number of dengue cases from 423 recorded, from January 1 to July 21 in 2019, to 109 validated cases from the same period this year.
Dumaguete City Health Office (CHO) Dengue Coordinator Leiticia Flores explained that validated cases meant that dengue patients were actual residents of the city, noting that there were patients, who use Dumaguete City as their home address, but were actually from other cities and municipalities.
Flores said that the 30 barangays in Dumaguete have put in place a simultaneous massive clean-up drive every third Saturday of every month as one of the strategies to eliminate dengue in the city.
“I’ve also instructed the Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) that if possible, they visit 50 houses in each purok every week to conduct search and destroy activities and if they are unable to complete the 50 houses, they can visit them on a different day,” Flores added.
Health officials here renewed their call to the public to prepare against dengue disease despite ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Estacion urged the people to keep themselves hydrated since sustained hydration can help boost the person’s immune system.
Villamor, on the other hand, said that now that the rainy season is here people should also keep an eye on dengue disease.
“Perhaps our efforts and resources are concentrated towards addressing the problem on COVID-19, but we should not forget about dengue because many people have died from it based on previous health experiences in the city,” she added.