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PIA Press Release

Dengue cases on the rise in Central Visayas

Cebu City has most number of cases

Cebu City (18 February) -- Dengue cases are on the rise in Central Visayas as from January to February 13, this year, around 724 cases have been documented compared to only 491 cases of the same period last year indicating a 68 percent increase.

Dr. Jocelyn Abellana, dengue program coordinator of the Dept. of Health (DOH-7) bared that dengue is now an all-year round disease which previously only favored the rainy season.

"Case fatality rate for this year from January 1 to February 13 is 10 while nine deaths have been recorded for last year," Abellana disclosed.

Out of the four provinces in the region, Cebu Province had the most number of cases with 404 with Cebu City having the bulk of the cases with 217 and six deaths, this is learned.

Abellana said Tagbilaran City in Bohol had 21 cases while Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental only had 17 cases.

The regional dengue program coordinator admitted the dengue problem is a perennial issue in Cebu City despite the aggressive campaign of the Cebu City Health Office (CCHO).

"Cebu City always has the highest incidence of dengue cases in the region," Abellana noted.

Dense population and poor living conditions citing urban squatter areas making the spread of the virus accessible are cited as the main factors behind the increased incidence rate in Cebu City, according to Abellana.

Central Visayas is in top five among the regions with the highest incidence rate of dengue cases, the dengue program coordinator said.

Abellana lauded the Cebu City Government for their advocacy programs on dengue but yet despite their hard efforts, dengue cases still remain high in the city as she said the health problem must equally be a community effort. "Everybody has a stake here and that all we need to do is simply clean our surroundings and not store water which is an ideal breeding site for the Aedes Egypti, the dengue-virus carrying mosquito," the DOH-7 official stressed.

Although it cannot be prevented that one has to store water especially in areas where water supply is poor, Abellana said one should just cover the water container and to clean the container regularly by brushing in thoroughly.

Abellana also urged the public to dispose of used tires as water can settle inside while even the smallest container such as softdrink caps have been found to have larvae eggs as well as the bottom of the water dispensers as she advised the latter to be cleaned regularly.

The DOH-7 official also discouraged the use of fresh flowers because this needs to be sprinkled with water and the water would settle in the flower vase which can then be a breeding ground for the eggs of the Aedes mosquito.

Abellana said the dengue health threat is not for the government to resolve alone and that the community itself has to be at the forefront in the fight against dengue. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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