Dengue cases in Bicol down by 74% – DOH

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LEGAZPI CITY – If other areas in the country including Metro Manila are experiencing upsurge in dengue cases, Bicol is an exception with the decrease by 74 percent of confirmed cases.

Camilo Aquino, dengue coordinator of DOH Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) Bicol disclosed to PIA today that from January 1 to August 20 this year there were 375 verified cases of dengue as against 1,466 last year of same period.

The same report showed that all the six provinces in the region showed a downward trend for dengue cases. Camarines Norte accounted for a 96 per cent decline this year with only eight cases against last year’s 211. Masbate, too, reported a decrease by 91 per cent with eight cases this 2011 versus 85 cases in 2010.

Sorsogon reduced its dengue cases by 88 percent, 18 cases this 2011 as against 153 in 2010. Catanduanes shrinked the number of cases to 13 this year from last year’s incidence of 87 or 85 per cent.

Albay had a drop in cases by 74 per cent with 99 cases for this year against 378 cases last year. Camarines Sur, the province with the biggest population and land area and veritably topping for some time a high number of dengue cases registered a cut in dengue cases to 58 per cent with 229 cases this year in comparison to last year’s 552.

Despite this drop in dengue incidence, Aquino said that people should still continue to watch out for dengue especially that six casualties for the period were reported, the same number as last year. The deaths occurred in Albay with four cases and one each for the provinces of Camarines Sur and Catanduanes.

For this occurrence the DOH-CHD Bicol has provided the Albay provincial health office with ovicidal/larvicidal (OL) traps for mosquitoes developed by the Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology and Development Institute. OL traps will also be provided to Camarines Sur.

These OL mosquito traps are addition to those distributed to 20 localities in Bicol during the launching of said traps last July this year.

Aquino attributed the reduction of dengue cases in the region to multi-factorial aspects. These include local government units’ dengue campaign, community participation, information and advocacy campaign, distribution of olyset mosquito nets in schools regionwide particularly in high risk areas.

The chemical olyset mosquito net uses the latest research and technology with end in view of achieving breakthrough in the global fight against mosquito borne illnesses like dengue and malaria. It is widely used in Africa, like Tanzania, Ethiopia and Malawi.

Permethrin is incorporated inside the olyset fibers to create a bed net guaranteed to last at least five years. It is tear-proof, wash-proof, and never requires treatment. The pyrethroid insecticide permethrin is a synthetic molecule similar to natural pyrethrin, which comes from a species of plant. It poses minimal toxic risk to humans particularly to babies and small children.

Aquino cautions the populace of their mobility. Those travelling to dengue infested areas to be vigilant, same with visitors from areas with cases of dengue. He likewise, warn plant enthusiasts particularly those raising bromeliad to water the soil not the plant as water tend to be stored in the axial of plants veritable breeding ground for mosquitoes.

In addition, DOH-CHD Bicol regional director Dr. Nestor F. Santiago, Jr. admonished everyone to follow the 4S strategy in the fight against dengue. These are Search and destroy, Self-protection, Seek early consultation and Say not to indiscriminate fogging.

Search and destroy means seeking out breeding places of dengue mosquitoes like old tires, coconut husks, roof gutters, discarded bottle, flower vases and other containers that can hold clean, stagnant water.

Self-protection measures include wearing of long-sleeve shirts and long pants and using mosquito repellants during daytime. Desist if possible wearing dark clothes.

Except during dengue outbreaks, say not to indiscriminate fogging as this only kills adult mosquitoes but not the breeding places. (Aida Alcazar-Naz)

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