DENGUE OUTBREAK: Cases in Iloilo spike by 788 percent

ILOILO Provincial Health Office chief Patricia Grace Trabado (right) gives an update on dengue cases in the province at Casa Real (Old Capitol) on July 4, 2019. (Gerome Dalipe)

By: Gerome Dalipe

THE Iloilo Provincial Government will declare a dengue outbreak amid the alarming increase in the number of dengue fever cases in the span of six months, with the death toll already reaching 18 by June 28, 2019.

Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. said he will issue an executive order declaring the outbreak.

The proposal will be endorsed to the Provincial Board for deliberation and allocation of the calamity funds for the purchase of dengue medicine kits.

“We really need to step up our dengue campaign due to the rising of cases (of dengue) so the people will be briefed of the effective preventive measures,” Defensor said.

The governor met with the town mayors at the Casa Real de Iloilo to receive an update regarding dengue cases from various district hospitals and government hospitals in Iloilo City.

Dengue fever cases in Iloilo have increased by over 788 percent, records from the Provincial Health Office showed.

The number of suspected dengue cases surged by 3,458 cases – from 439 on Jan.1 to June 28, 2018, to 3,897 in the same months this year.

The town of Pototan, Iloilo topped the list with 376 cases and two deaths, followed by Passi City with 317 cases and one death.

Calinog has 252 cases, while the towns of Concepcion and Cabatuan have 214 and 181 cases, respectively. Likewise, 560 patients have been confined to various district hospitals.

During the dialogue with the mayors, Governor Defensor stressed the declaration of a dengue outbreak is necessary to hasten the purchase of dengue medicine kits.

The Provincial Board will deliberate the dengue outbreak declaration and allocate calamity funds for such purpose.

The Provincial Government and all municipal mayors will hold a simultaneous clean-up drive starting on Saturday, July 6.

The clean-up will continue for four consecutive Saturdays in a bid to destroy the breeding places of day-biting mosquitoes.

“We are also getting donors of folding beds from the Philippine National Red Cross and the fogging equipment and materials from the Department of Health,” said Defensor.

Government doctors also suggest focusing their intervention on towns with high number of dengue cases.

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral infection causing severe flu-like illness.

These carriers are day-biting mosquitoes (Aedes albpictus and Aedes Egyptian) that live and breed in clean and 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.