As dengue cases surge, public told to observe ‘4S’

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor  

The Department of Health Western Visayas (DOH-6) has reminded the public to practice the 4S to combat dengue fever and prevent its surge amid the onset of the rainy season.

“The DOH-6 emphasizes the importance of proactive measures in combating the spread of this fatal disease. The DOH-6 spotlights the practice of 4S strategy, a straightforward yet effective approach to the prevention and spread of dengue mosquitoes,” Dr. Bea Natalaray, medical officer at the Infectious Disease Section of the DOH-6 in a virtual press conference on Friday, June 14.

The 4S campaign stands for “Search and Destroy” mosquito breeding places, “Secure Self Protection” from mosquito bites, “Seek Early Consultation” when signs and symptoms of dengue occur, and “Say Yes to Fogging” as a last resort when there is an impending outbreak.

“The 4S strategy is one way of preventing the population of dengue-carrying mosquitoes in safeguarding oneself from being exposed. By focusing on these strategies, 4S aims to reduce mosquito breeding sites and minimize the risks of dengue transmission,” Natalaray added.

As of June 8, the DOH-6 reported a total of 3,482 cases of dengue, which is 22 percent higher compared to last year’s 2,855 cases during the same period.

The province of Iloilo recorded the highest number of cases with 1,128, followed by Aklan with 553, and Negros Occidental with 519.

Natalaray attributed the uptick in cases to the El Niño phenomenon in which the public observed practices of storing water due to lack of supply.

Based on our monitoring, since we have a problem with the supply of water, our tendency is to collect water and our containers are possible breeding areas of our mosquitoes,” she said.

The fatalities related to dengue also climbed to nine with four deaths coming from Iloilo province, three from Negros Occidental, and one each from Aklan and Capiz. The most recent death is from Brgy. Odiongan, Badiangan in Iloilo.

“4o percent of our cases are from the age group 1-10 years old, followed by 11-20 years old which comprises 28 percent of our total cases,” Natalaray added.

At least 29 barangays in the region were monitored to have a clustering of dengue cases, which is defined as three or more cases within a four-week period.

The DOH-6 also declared Brgy. Odiongan in Badiangan town is a hotspot area for dengue due to the “sustained increase of cases or increase in cases and dengue deaths.”

Data from the Iloilo Provincial Health Office showed that Badiangan has 40 dengue cases as of June 1, a 900 percent increase from the four cases reported last year.

With the state weather bureau’s declaration of the onset of the rainy season, the DOH-6 is expecting a surge in cases in the upcoming weeks due to the increased breeding grounds for mosquitoes.