Shift in focus: What about dengue?

Published July 7, 2022, 5:52 PM

by Dhel Nazario

Given the focus on the deadly and infectious Covid-19, people may have forgotten about dengue; how it could be equally fatal since the disease-carrying mosquitoes might just be right around someone’s backyard.

THE Aedes Aegypti mosquito that transmits dengue.

This was specifically pointed out by Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PHAPi) president, Dr. Jose Rene de Grano during the Laging Handa public briefing on Thursday. July 7. According to him, the public may have concentrated so much on Covid-19 prevention that it slightly forgot about dengue and other similar diseases.

“Kaya po medyo hindi natin agad napagtuunan ng pansin ito, iyong paglilinis ng ating mga kapaligiran kaya medyo dumami po ang mga kaso natin right now compared doon po sa last na taon (That’s why we may have not directed our attention here, to cleaning our surroundings giving rise to dengue cases compared to last year),” he added.

According to the data of the Department of Health (DOH), Metro Manila has recorded close to 4,000 dengue cases since the beginning of the year. Since January, most dengue cases have been reported in Quezon City with 729, Caloocan City with 502, City of Manila with 501, Taguig City with 472, and Valenzuela City with 444.

It was also noted that the capital region recorded 533 dengue cases from May 22 to June 4, an increase of 16 percent compared to the cases recorded two weeks prior or from May 8 to May 21 with 458 cases then, the DOH said.

De Grano also stated that dengue cases also increased in Central Luzon, Central Visayas and in Zamboanga Peninsula. He mentioned that the local government units (LGUs) play a big role in maintaining cleanliness to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

He explained that unlike Covid-19, dengue is not highly-infectious and can be controlled by eliminating the breeding areas of mosquitoes. He said that spaces that usually occupy water during the rainy season must always be cleaned.

“Kapag ganoon po na na-control na po natin iyan ay kaya po nating kontrolin itong pagdami ng ating mga cases na napansin po natin na medyo tumaas talaga po nitong mga few months ago (Once we control that, we can also control the increase in cases that we have noticed a few months ago), he added.

De Grano stated that the government has put up enough interventions despite the growing number of dengue cases. What’s important, according to him, is the coordination between the DOH and the LGUs to conduct fogging in various areas and for the barangay to conduct cleaning to eradicate the breeding areas.

“Kasi, usually naman po kapag nagkaroon ng kaso ng Dengue, nako-confine po iyan sa isang area ano po (Usually if someone gets dengue, they get confined in a particular area),” he said.

“Kung mai-identify po nila iyong lugar na iyon o iyong barangay na iyon, doon po pagtutuunan kaagad ng pansin ng local government at saka ng mga barangay nang sa ganoon po ay masugpo kaagad iyong pinanggagalingan ng Dengue po (If we will identify that area or barangay, the local government can focus on that area to curb the spread of dengue),” he added.