MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr declared a dengue outbreak in the province on Friday, July 5.
In an executive order signed Friday, Defensor declared the outbreak and directed all district and provincial hospitals “to extend free service and necessary assistance” to patients with dengue.
Data from the Iloilo provincial health office recorded 3,897 dengue cases from January 1 to June 28, 2019. The number of cases is 788% higher than the 439 cases recorded in the province during the same period in 2018.
The areas with the most number of cases are Pototan (376 with 2 deaths), Passi City (317 with 1 death), Calinog (252), Concepcion (214 with 4 deaths), Cabatuan (181 with 1 death), Lambunao (161 with 1 death), Ajuy (153), Carles (132), Janiuay (128) and Sta. Barbara (126).
According to a statement from the Iloilo provincial government, 560 patients are hospitalized due to dengue as of 9 am Thursday, July 4.
During a meeting on Thursday with the League of Municipalities in Iloilo, Defensor said the high number of cases prompted the need to declare an outbreak so that the local government could quickly respond.
“We have to declare an outbreak because we want to recognize that there is a problem…. Based on historical data, the cases are high,” Defensor said.
With the declaration of an outbreak, Defensor said funds will be used for the emergency purchase of intravenous (IV) fluids, medicines, and dengue kits.
Defensor said that he will issue another executive order that will put the province under a state of calamity due to the outbreak.
Dengue is a disease common in tropical and sub-tropical countries in the world. It is transmitted through the bite of an Aedes mosquito, according to the World Health Organization.
Earlier in March, the Department of Health said it was monitoring a rise in dengue cases in the country. The department urged the public to take precautions as it warned that dengue was now a year-round disease compared to previous years, when it was seen mostly during the rainy season. – with reports from Rhick Albay and Russel Patina/Rappler.com