Dengue cases in Iloilo breach 500-mark

By John Noel E. Herrera

Cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever in Iloilo province surged past the 500 mark, based on the latest Morbidity Week of Iloilo Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU).

Data from the PESU indicated that from Jan 1 to May 27, 2023, Iloilo recorded a total of 521 dengue cases, which is 44 percent higher compared to 361 cases reported in the same period last year.

A report from the Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) revealed that 42 Local Government Units (LGUs) in the province, including Passi City, have already logged dengue cases.

The town of Barotac Nuevo has the highest number of cases with 40, followed by Estancia with 34; Ajuy (25); Calinog (21); Alimodian (20); Carles (20); Banate (19); Barotac Viejo (19); Oton (19); Balasan (18); San Dionisio (17); Passi City (17); Pototan (16); Cabatuan (16); Dumangas (16), and towns of Sara and Lemery with 14 cases each, while the rest of the cases spread in other municipalities.

Only the town of Mina remains dengue-free as of the writing.

The PHO noted that children aged one to 10 years old accounted for the most number of cases with 287, followed by people aged 11 to 20 years old with 109; 21 to 30 years old (44 cases); 41 years old and above (36 cases); less than one-year-old (30 cases), and aged 31 to 40 years old with 15 cases.

Despite the increase in cases, the province has yet to record dengue-related fatalities this year, which is far from the six deaths accounted for in the same period in 2022.

IPHO chief Dr. Maria Socorro Colmenares-Quiñon also earlier appealed to the public to monitor their surroundings and practice preventive measures for their own safety, especially because there might be more breeding places for mosquitoes nowadays due to heavy rain and flooding.

Quiñon stressed that the public should follow the 4S strategy (search and destroy breeding places, seeking early treatment, self-protection measures, say yes to fogging) to prevent the continuous increase of dengue cases.

IPHO has already distributed dengue test kits and adulticides to all RHUs and hospitals in the province for early detection of possible dengue cases and to curb the spread of the viral infection.

Quiñon added that residents should immediately seek medical attention if they experience dengue symptoms.

Some symptoms of dengue include headache, fever, nausea, rash, aches and pains in eyes, muscles, joints and bones, and feeling tired, restless, or irritable.