CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -– Health officials reported on Friday that six deaths and a total of 2,107 cases of dengue were recorded in Northern Mindanao this year.
Dr. Jocelyn Torrecampo of the Department of Health (DOH) said Misamis Oriental registered the highest with 447 dengue cases. Bukidnon came in second with 345, followed by Misamis Occidental, 305; Lanao Del Norte, 76; and Camiguin 61.
Torreampo added the DOH also recorded 170 dengue cases in Iligan City and 129 cases in Ozamis City since January this year.
“Most the six patients who died of dengue fever were aged one to nine years old,” Torrecampo said.
Torrecampo said health officials blamed the rapid urbanization and climate change as the primary reason leading to the rise of dengue cases nationwide.
She said local governments should prepare against problems on sanitation and the growing population, as well as unpredictable weather due to climate change.
As part of precautionary measures, Torrecampo urged school and barangay officials to form a “Dengue Brigade Advocacy” group in their areas who would spread and practice the 4:00 o’clock habit of destroying possible sources and breeding sites of dengue-carrier mosquitoes.
There are two mosquitoes that carry the dengue fever virus — Aedes aegypti and the Asian tiger mosquito (A. albopictus).
Torrecampo said the “4S methods” have been proven effective in the fight against the spread of dengue infection. These are:
1. Search and destroy breeding sites, wherein water containers should be covered, water in flower vases should be changed and rooftop gutters should be de-clogged, among others.
2. Self-protection. Wear long-sleeves and use mosquito repellants.
3. Seek early advice or consultation at the nearest health center if you have symptoms or fever without any other causes.
4. Say Yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak in your area.
Torrecampo said the DOH conducted massive awareness campaign nationwide even before the start of the rainy season and opening of classes this year.