Dengue cases in Northern Mindanao breach epidemic threshold

LANAO DEL NORTE, Philippines – Dengue cases in Northern Mindanao have surpassed the epidemic threshold with 15,095 incidents across the region from January 1 to August 3, Department of Health Region 10 Director Adriano Suba-an said in a press briefing.

DOH records show that Northern Mindanao, or Region 10, is among the regions hardest hit by the mosquito-borne disease. Other regions reeling from the dengue epidemic are Mimaropa in Southern Luzon, as well as Western Visayas and Central Visayas.

Region 10's dengue cases this year are 62.54% higher compared to the same period last year. There have been 60 deaths so far in the region.

In Cagayan de Oro City, a total of 1,557 Dengue cases were tallied, with 8 deaths. Of the barangays in Cagayan de Oro, Carmen was the most devastated with 196 cases and  2 deaths. There were 32 cases in Sitio Macanhan in Carmen alone. Carmen is the city's biggest village.

Region-wide, Bukidnon suffered the most with 42% of the cases of 6,406 patients.

“All bureaus, units, hospitals, and attached agencies of the DOH heightened monitoring of dengue cases and provided immediate management and assistance to those afflicted by the disease,” Suba-an said.

Suba-an added that DOH personnel have been directed to engage in a massive nationwide information campaign, give advice, and encourage the general public to follow the “4S” strategy.

This is: to search and destroy the mosquito breeding sites; self-protective measures like using of insect repellants daily and wearing of light-colored clothes, long sleeves, and long pants; seek early consultation to the nearest health care facility once signs and symptoms are manifested; and support fogging, spraying, and misting only in hot spot areas where increase in cases are registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent and impending outbreak.

In Macanhan, the city health department started fogging operations and cleaning of clogged waterways.

“As the lead agency, the DOH shall convene the Health Cluster of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (RDRRMC) to intensify detection, tracking and monitoring of cases, provide issuances and alert advisories, ensure mobilization and augmentation of needed logistics and provide laboratory response,” Suba-aan added.

According to the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) global risk each year, an estimated 390 million people get afflicted with dengue. Outbreaks have occurred in parts of Southeast Asia, the Western Pacific, the Eastern Mediterranean, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Africa.

It is said that 40% of the world’s population live in areas at risk for dengue. –