Philippines

Dengue cases in Central Visayas seen to go up this year

Dengue cases in Central Visayas seen to go up this year
By Luel Galarpe

CEBU CITY (Philippines News Agency) — The number of dengue cases in Central Visayas is expected to further increase this year due to the mild El Niño phenomenon.

Dr. Ronald Jarvik Buscato, Medical Officer of the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7), said Tuesday they are anticipating that more children and adults will acquire the disease during the dry spell.

“We call it the El Niño effect. This is because people will be storing water due to supply shortage, and water containers would serve as breeding areas for dengue-carrying mosquitoes,” Buscato told reporters after the Association of Government Information Officers (AGIO-7) Media Forum held at DOH-7.

Because of this El Niño effect, Buscato said dengue cases in the region this year would most likely equal or exceed the 28,591 cases recorded in 2016.

The Central Visayas Center for Health Development is strongly encouraging those affected by the water shortage to use water containers with covers to prevent the disease from spreading further.

From January 1 to April 6, Central Visayas remains to be the region with the most number of dengue cases nationwide with 6,521 and 38 deaths, which is 252 percent higher compared to the 1,851 cases and 12 deaths in the same period of last year.

Most of the 38 fatalities died because of delayed consultation or no consultation at all, Buscato said.

The latest fatality was a 27-year-old male patient from Borbon, Cebu, who expired last March 18.

Cebu City also continues to stay on top of the list with the most number of cases in the region at 784 and eight deaths.

Completing the top five are Lapu-Lapu City with 499 cases, Mandaue City with 323 and three deaths, Dumaguete City with 221, and Buenavista, Bohol with 192 cases.

The number of cases in more than 50 local government units in Central Visayas has reached outbreak level, but most of the LGUs concerned did not declare an outbreak.

“These LGUs have already mobilized their respective outbreak response long before the number of cases in their areas had reached critical level. So, there was no need for them to declare an outbreak,” Buscato said. (PNA)

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