Dengue cases in Central Luzon inch higher in 2008
by Emma C. Tabalanza
San Fernando City, Pampanga (6 November) -- The number of dengue cases in Central Luzon is more alarming for the year 2008 than in the previous year.
This was disclosed by Dr. Rodora Cruz, chief, epidemiology division of the Department of Health (DOH) in Region III during the Regional Inter-Agency Committee on Environmental Health (RIACEH) meeting held recently at the Regional Government Center in Maimpis, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.
She said that the dengue problem is alarming due to the unplanned and uncontrolled urbanization, problems related to work, increased travel of population and inadequate and delayed response to epidemic.
Dengue is endemic in the country and there are 100 tropical and sub-tropical countries affected by it. There is no specific treatment for it and it spreads rapidly affecting mostly children. However, it can affect persons as young as zero month and as old as 69, Cruz said.
She added that in 2008, there is an epidemic in Central Luzon especially in the province of Pampanga which has the most number of cases followed by Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Zambales, Tarlac and Aurora.
In their campaign "Puksain ang Kiti-Kiti, Sugpuin ang Dengue" to combat the outbreak in the region, Cruz said that multi-sectoral approach is being done by the DOH wherein the community leaders, religious groups, students, media associations, information officers, teachers, non government organizations, civic organizations and local government units are being tapped and clustered for easy access and implementation and monitoring of activities against dengue.
The campaign makes use of color codes to indicate the status of the area namely, white, no case clustering; green, there is clustering of cases and more than two cases in a barangay; and red, there is an outbreak in an area wherein the number of cases is more than that of expected range.
According to Cruz, the four (4) S of the DOH anti-dengue campaign are search and destroy; seek early diagnosis and treatment, self-protection and say no to indiscriminate fogging. She also encouraged the RIACEH members to renew their commitment to help disseminate information to eradicate the worsening problem of dengue cases in the region. (PIA-Pampanga) [top]