BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH_-CAR) reported a 31 percent increase in the number of suspected dengue fever cases from January 1 to August 6 this year with 5,268 recorded cases compared to the 4,016 cases registered during the same period last year.
Dr. Alexei Marrero, head of the DOH-CAR’s regional epidemiology and surveillance unit, said dengue fever is preventable and the increase in the number of cases regionwide is still under control, thus, there is no need for the agency to declare an outbreak.
From five recorded deaths during the reckoning period, Marrero disclosed the number of dengue-caused deaths rose to 16 for the same period this year where Benguet registered the most with 5 deaths followed by Apayao, Abra, Baguio, Ifugao and Kalinga with 2 deaths each while 1 death was from Region II who sought medical attention in one of the hospitals in the region. Benguet recorded the highest increase of 264 percent in the number of cases during the prescribed period reflecting the total of 2,374 cases from January 1 to August 6 this year compared to the 653 cases during the same period last year; Baguio city reported a 252 percent increase with 1,484 dengue cases for this year compared to the 421 cases for the same period last year.
Ifugao reported a 64 percent increase in the dreaded virus from January 1 to August 6 this year with 388 cases compared to the 236 recorded during the same period last year.
However, Marrero reported that Kalinga recorded the highest decrease in cases with a 79 percent drop from 1,171 cases last year compared to the 243 cases during the same period last year, followed by Mountain Province with a reported 65 percent decline from 137 this year to 388 cases for the same period last year.
Abra and non-CAR areas were tied at an identical 50 percent decline when they recorded 422 cases during the reckoning period last year compared to the 212 cases for the same period this year and from 355 cases last year to 177 cases during the same period this year, respectively.
Apayao reported the lowest decline in dengue fever cases with 253 reported cases from January 1 to August 6 this year compared to the 371 dengue cases last year.
Marrero revealed the age range of the suspected dengue fever cases was from 2 months old to 91 years old and more males, 53.7 percent or 2,831 individuals, were infected by the virus.
Marrero called on the public to be vigilant in combating the aedes aegypti mosquito that transmits the dengue virus infection noting that infection has become sporadic and can occur nowadays at any given time year-round and no longer a 3-year cycle for epidemics. /By Dexter A. See