CEBU, Philippines – The Lapu-Lapu City Health Office has recorded 667 cases of dengue and 12 deaths linked to the mosquito-borne virus from January 1 to Wednesday, May 25, Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan announced in a press conference.
Chan said he has ordered health officials to address the problem. The figure is a big jump from the 18 dengue cases recorded for the whole of 2021.
City Health Officer Dr. Agnes Realiza told Rappler in an interview on Thursday, May 26, that epidemiologic investigations with the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), and Solid Waste Management unit indicate sanitation problems as the reason for the jump in cases.
“We found that several areas that don’t have proper sanitation are becoming breeding grounds for mosquitos,” Realiza said in Cebuano.
Multiple barangays, she pointed out, still struggle with garbage remnants linked to Typhoon Odette, which lashed Cebu and a wide swathe of the Visayas in December 2021. These areas have become breeding grounds for mosquito larvae.
Movement of people also became a factor in the growth of dengue cases.
“Since there was no electricity during that time, and it was also a rainy season, people went out when it was too warm inside their homes,” Realiza said.
Cebu City Health Department (CCHD) chief Dr. Jeffrey Ibones shared Realiza’s views, saying that Odette may have contributed to the rise in cases.
The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) has reported over 3,000 dengue cases between January 1 to May 7.
“We (have) intensified our information drive,” Realiza said in a mix of Cebuano and English. “We informed the barangay captains with the status of their barangays, the cases, and told them to reactivate ‘ABAKADA or Action Barangay Kontra Dengue’.”
Currently, Lapu-Lapu City has 30 active cases of dengue. Barangay Basak has the highest number of recorded cases since the start of the year at 119.
Chan told residents to empty water-filled cans, tires, bottles, roof gutters and other areas where dengue mosquitos breed.
“Mao nang kasagaran ang dengue magpuyo ana nga limpiyo nga tubig (Usually dengue happens where there is clean water),” he said.
Realiza also urged residents to practice the Department of Health’s 4S, which stands for Search and destroy, Secure self-protection, Seek early consultation, and Support spraying or misting to prevent an outbreak.
Barangays can request larvicide and misting services at the city health office, she said. –Rappler.com