Dengue cases surge as wet season sets in

By Rjay Zuriaga Castor

Dengue cases in Western Visayas continue to increase as isolated thunderstorms and rain showers become more frequent with the onset of the rainy season, the Department of Health Western Visayas (DOH-6) reported on Monday, June 10.

The DOH-6 registered 91 new dengue cases from May 26 to June 1. These new cases bring the total to 3,283, a 21 percent increase compared to the 2,716 cases during the same period in 2023.

With the rise in cases, the DOH central office urged the public to observe the 5S strategy for dengue.

“Kill mosquitoes so that the dengue they bring will not kill you. This early, before the full swing of the rainy season, families and communities should search and destroy mosquito breeding sites – anywhere or anything where water can accumulate and stay still,” said DOH Secretary Teodoro J. Herbosa.

The DOH further advised the public to observe self-protection measures such as wearing long sleeves and pants or applying mosquito repellent lotions and sprays.

“As the season turns from dry to wet, dengue is something we must not forget. We brought cases down because of intense public awareness and close community action. Let us keep it that way,” Herbosa added.

The DOH-6 also reported an increased attack rate of dengue in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, and Guimaras.

Iloilo province has the highest number of cases with 1,049, followed by Aklan with 518, and Negros Occidental with 477.

Twenty-three villages in the region have clusters of dengue cases.

The DOH said the total number of dengue deaths in the region remain at eight, with Negros Occidental registering three fatalities.

Dr. Sarah Marie S. Huyong of the Aklan Provincial Health Office reminded the public to be vigilant about illnesses commonly associated with the rainy season.

In an interview with RMN Kalibo, she emphasized the importance of maintaining a strong immune system during this period.

Huyong also noted that the provincial health office is conducting massive information dissemination and is in close coordination with rural health units to inform the public about available health programs.

In Iloilo City, the local government is taking proactive measures to prevent a possible surge in dengue cases by distributing larvicides, an insecticide that targets larvae in the breeding habitat before they can mature into adult mosquitoes and disperse.

According to Dr. June Frances Umani, the city’s Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Disease Program Coordinator, the larvicides have been distributed to 180 villages in the city as early as the last week of May.

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