TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) in Eastern Visayas has reported higher dengue fever cases in the first three weeks of 2023 and warned that frequent heavy rains in the region will trigger more cases in succeeding weeks.
During the first three weeks of the year, the region has already recorded 210 dengue cases, which is 19 percent higher than the 176 cases during the same period in 2022.
Among the cases, 190 or about 90 percent of patients suffered severe cases and were hospitalized, according to DOH.
With the unceasing torrential rains that affect the Eastern Visayas region caused by the low-pressure area, northeast monsoon, and shear line during the first three weeks of 2023, this trend is expected to continue, it added.
In 2022, Eastern Visayas posted a total of 6,794 dengue cases with 20 deaths. This is a substantial 774 percent increase from the 877 cases tallied in 2021 with zero death.
With the high dengue cases since last year, the DOH urged the public and local government units to observe measures to mitigate the surge in dengue cases and deaths this year.
Among these is to check containers or water deposits for the presence of the Aedes mosquito larvae (locally known as kiti-kiti) and pupae. Clean these containers by discarding all water in dry areas to immediately kill the larvae and pupae and brush the sides of the container with soap and water to remove mosquito eggs. Cover the containers when not in use.
The DOH also calls for the activation of the dengue brigade in villages and organize a weekly simultaneous search and destroy activity to reduce the risk of dengue transmission and increase awareness.
Those with dengue warning signs such as abdominal pain, bleeding, frequent vomiting, lethargy or restlessness are asked to seek early consultation.
Local governments are urged to provide policy support as well as financial support through the disaster risk reduction and management plan for health, among others.
“Through the religious observance of these guidelines, the DOH is optimistic that the region will be able to stop the current trends in dengue cases early on in the year,” the DOH said.
Dengue fever is marked by the onset of sudden high fever, severe headache, and pain behind the eyes, muscles, and joints.
Some may develop rashes and varying degrees of bleeding in different parts of the body.
The health department asked city and town mayors to regularly organize cleanup campaigns focusing on the destruction of mosquito-breeding places in their areas. (PNA)