By: Gerome Dalipe
DENGUE cases in Iloilo increased by 716 percent, records from the Provincial Health Office showed.
The number of suspected dengue cases spiked to 2,823, from 394 cases for the period January to June, 2018 to 3,217 for the same period this year.
The town of Pototan, Iloilo topped the list with 318 cases and two deaths, followed by Passi City with 271 cases and one death.
Despite the increase, none among the 42 Iloilo towns and a component city declared a dengue calamity, said Dra. Patricia Grace Trabado, provincial health officer.
But how prepared is the Provincial Health Office for such calamity?
Trabada, in an interview with the Daily Guardian, said that each local government unit has its own budget for dengue prevention and control program.
Trabada said that her office is constantly providing technical assistance to improve the capability of the local health unit personnel in every municipality.
Likewise, Trabada emphasized the importance of “search and destroy” of breeding places to break the life cycle of mosquitoes.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection causing a severe flu-like illness.
These carriers are day-biting mosquitoes (Aedes albpictus and Aedes egypti) that live and breed in clean, stagnant water.
Doctors also advise people with dengue symptoms to immediately seek medical treatment.
Some of the symptoms are severe headaches, high fever, pain behind the eyes, severe joint and muscle pain, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and skin rashes.
During a meeting with Gov. Arthur Defensor on Tuesday, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) executive officer Jerry Bionat said that additional data are needed before declaring a state of calamity due to rising dengue cases.
Defensor gave the Iloilo Provincial Health Office 10 days to present the latest figures of dengue cases from 42 towns and the component city of Passi, district hospitals, and private hospitals in Iloilo City.
The PDRRMC also planned to buy insecticides to be distributed to areas with high dengue cases.
The health officials will also beef up their campaign on how to stop the spread of dengue.
Apart from Pototan and Passi City, the other towns with high dengue cases are
Concepcion (212, with five deaths), Calinog (204), Ajuy (154), Santa Barbara (125, with one death), Lambunao (124), Sara (122, with one death), Cabatuan (108), and Pavia (104, with two deaths).
The six other dengue-related deaths were in New Lucena (one), Dueñas (one), Bingawan (one), and Banate (two).