MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) said Tuesday it recorded 84,085 dengue cases from Jan. 1 to Aug. 6, 2016, 15.8 percent more than the 72,627 during the same period last year.
DOH Spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag in a press briefing held at media relations unit in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, Manila, expected the figure to increase further as the country experiences rainy conditions.
Tayag said that from just 43 dengue declared hotzones (yellow alert) barangays, the number is now almost double – 80 in total.
Dengue alert zone is being declared if a barangay in a municipality/provinces recorded occurrences of dengue cases in four consecutive weeks.
He said that when a barangay was place under dengue hotzone, government hospitals there were also automatically alerted to implement re-activation of dengue express lanes to immediately respond to needed treatment and monitoring of the patient suspected of dengue cases.
He clarified that there was no outbreak yet so far.
With the expectation of upward movement of dengue cases, the Spokesperson called on Local Government Units (LGUs) leaders to take part in curbing the cases in line with their expectation that people could still do something to beat it.
“We still have the chance to do our part to prevent an increase of the cases,” he said.
He reminded anew of the DOH’s “4S Campaign” – Searching and destroying breeding sites of mosquitoes, use of Self-Protective Measures, Seeking Early Consultation and Saying No to indiscriminate fogging.
“Let us search together the portions where clear stagnant water are being stored… we have to cover them so that mosquitoes will not be able to lay their egg there,” he said.
He also said wearing of dengue uniform in the schools were also one of the ways to get protected against dengue.
For this year, a total of 372 deaths due to dengue were recorded.
Meanwhile, the Spokesperson noted that the number of dengue cases recorded this year was much lower than the number of cases recorded in the last three years.
Tayag attributed the “reduction” to possibility that the serotype of dengue that inflicted a person last year which still circulated in the next year/s that followed cannot anymore be inflicted with that same serotype due to immunity.
On the other hand, in places where there were serotypes of dengue recorded, that can mean that a change in the sero type of dengue circulating therein is happening (other strain).
There are four serotypes or strains of dengue that can inflict a person in a lifetime.
When a person gets inflicted with serotype one he/she will not be inflicted with that same serotype anymore.
Another reason is that some LGUs probably had been actively participating in the call of DOH to fight versus dengue.
Among the provinces that are listed in the dengue hotzones are Pangasinan, Pampanga, Zambales, Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, Oriental Mindoro, Antique, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Southern Leyte, Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Apayao, Benguet and Metro Manila.
He clarified however that when provinces were mentioned, it does not necessarily follows that all the municipalities and barangays therein were automatically included in the list.
For example, in NCR, Quezon City and Pasig City are in the list.
In Pasig City, Barangay Pinagbuhatan is in the list.
In Quezon City, the barangays listed are Fairview, Batasan Hills, Pinyahan and Holy Spirit.