MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DoH) reported Monday dengue outbreaks in 16 towns in the provinces of Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pampanga, Bataan, and Pangasinan.
As of Aug. 6, the towns where outbreaks of dengue have been noted are Bantay, Cabugao, Candon, Sto. Domingo and Vigan in Ilocos Sur; Bacnotan, Baguilin, Balaoan, Bauang and San Fernando City in La Union; Dagupan City in Pangasinan; Balanga and Orani in Bataan; Angeles City, Guagua and Mabalacat in Pampanga.
Similarly, the areas with dengue hotspots or areas where cases are increasing are Muntinlupa, Putatan, Batasan Hills, Commonwealth, Novaliches proper and Pansol in Quezon City and Marulas in Valenzuela City.
From January to Aug. 6 this year, a total of 45,333 dengue cases were recorded nationwide by the DoH, which is a 33.5 percent reduction from the 68,168 cases in the same period last year.
DoH Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag said dengue often peaks in the month of August during the rainy season.
“The good news here is that definitely, what we have is much lower than last year…this is the month where dengue cases are usually at its peak,” he added.
The latest dengue surveillance report of the DoH covering Jan. 1 to Aug. 6 this year posted a total of 34,652 cases of dengue in Luzon; 5,091 in Visayas and 5,590 in Mindanao.
In Caloocan City, a total of 1,270 cases were recorded; Las Pinas, 317; Makati City, 227; Malabon 536; Mandaluyong, 245; Manila 1,093; Marikina, 201; Muntinlupa, 267; Navotas, 357; Paranaque, 531; Pasay, 268; Pasig, 707; Pateros, 3,034; San Juan, 153; Taguig, 474 and Valuenzuela, 782.
Health officials may declare a clustering of dengue cases within an area if there are three to four cases within the past four weeks. A hotspot is declared when there are increasing cases of dengue in an area within the past two weeks. An epidemic is declared when the number of cases has increased and surpassed the average number of cases within the past five years.
“If there is an outbreak, fogging should be done. In areas where dengue hotspots were noted, there should be dengue express lanes in hospitals. Similarly, if there is a clustering of dengue cases, the search and destroy strategy in mosquito breeding sites should be applied to communities. A hotspot is just one step away from outbreak so the hospitals should also be ready,” Tayag said.
He noted an increase in the number of dengue cases in Metro Manila with 5,416 cases as of January to Aug. 6 last year and 10,487 this year within the same period.
As of July 23, the tally in the National Capital Region (NCR) reached 9,229 dengue cases and increased to 10,487 as of Aug. 6.
“So there was a 1,258 increase in NCR and one-third of this is in Quezon City, so the problem is in Quezon City. This month is the peak but after August, there will be additional cases except in areas where there were efforts to prevent the increase in cases,” Tayag said.
The DoH recommends the 4-S strategy in preventing dengue. The 4-S strategy includes Search and Destroy, Self-protection, Seek early treatment, and Say no to indiscriminate fogging.
Meanwhile, the Pasay City government has activated a dengue fast lane for the victims of the dreaded disease at the city’s lone hospital, the Pasay City General Hospital.
Based on the report taken from the period of January to August, the city has recorded a total of 259 dengue fever cases, which is 70 percent higher compared to last year with only 113 cases for the same period.
However, were no recorded dengue deaths in Pasay City so far this year, according to Health Office chief Dr. Ceasar Encinares.
Encinares reported to Mayor Antonino Calixto that 53 percent of the victims were aged 15 years and above while 51 percent were female.
He said 36 of the victims were admitted at the Pasay City General Hospital while the others were admitted at the San Juan de Dios Hospital. (With a report from Jean Fernando)