The Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) in Caraga has identified eight barangays around the region as dengue “hotspots,” after more than 7,000 cases have been reported since Jan. 1 this year.
Dr. Gerna Manatad, DOH assistant regional director, said that from Jan. 1 to Aug. 3 this year, a total of 7,010 dengue cases were reported, including 17 deaths.
The figure is 162.1 percent higher compared to the 2,675 cases recorded during the same period last year.
Manatad identified Barangay Abilan in Buenavista town, Agusan del Norte; Barangay Pinanaan in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte; Barangay Daywan in Claver Surigao del Norte; Barangay Maligaya in Rosario, Agusan del Sur; and barangays Canlanipa, Luna, Washington and San Juan in Surigao City, as dengue hot spots.
Dengue hot spots are defined as areas when there is clustering and increasing number of cases for two consecutive weeks.
Although dengue cases in the region had reached an alarming level, Manatad clarified that the number had yet to breach the threshold level that would lead to the declaration of an outbreak.
“We are also constantly monitoring the LGUs on dengue cases and as of today, the region is in the below alert threshold level status on dengue cases,” she said.
The dengue virus is transmitted through bites by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The infection triggers a flu-like illness often followed by a severe drop in an infected person’s platelet count.
Manatad said they would continue to provide intervention programs, even to mountain villages in the region, in order to contain the dengue upsurge.
She called on the public to follow the government’s “4S” program against dengue.
“One effective way to stop the spread of dengue is to practice the four o’clock habit, search and destroy the breeding sites of the dengue-carrying mosquitos and to always perform the 4S strategy against dengue,” she added. By CLC