Barangay Irawan experienced a sudden increase in malaria cases last June, but immediate measures were taken to address and control the issue,” said City Health Department chief Dr. Ricardo Panganiban

Irawan initially recorded 30 cases of malaria; however, due to the prompt actions taken by its officials, the barangay is now reporting zero cases, Panganiban told the media during an interview on Monday, July 11.

“Hindi naman tayo nagkaroon ng mortality, meron lang nadala sa hospital, isa or dalawa ata yun. Good news is, zero active cases na tayo ngayon dito,” Panganiban said.

The city health chief also hypothesized that the increase in malaria cases within the barangay may be linked to an individual who returned home after traveling to the southern part of the province and subsequently contracted the infection.

“Pag-uwi nya dito, dala nya na and yung area na nagkaroon ng cases, medyo makapal pa yung vegetation tapos may ilog so factors yun kasi yung flowing river, doon nagbi-breed yung anopeles mosquito na nagdadala ng malaria,” Dr. Panganiban explained.

He further said that in previous years, the barangay had only reported one or two cases of malaria at most, making the recent sudden rise in cases a significant deviation from the norm.

Dr. Panganiban added that it was for the same reason that the Malaria Awareneas Campaign was held in the barangay. He however explained that they conduct the campaign regularly to promote awareness in the communities.

“Every month of June or July, we conduct Malaria Awareness Month,” he said.

“We want to show to the members of the community the importance of immediate actions. Pag matitingnan and mada-diagnose, mama-manage properly, madaling ma-stop. And true enough, hindi na nagdagdagan yung 30,” he added.

Additionally, he emphasized that the increase in cases observed in Irawan was considered a “sudden rise” due to the city’s existing endemicity of malaria.

Furthermore, he noted that there are a few isolated cases reported in remote barangays as well.

“Mayroong pailan-ilan kung minsan sa mga far-flung barangays – Simpocan, Napsan, and sa north side ng city,” he said.

Panganiban noted too that while there are similarities of symptoms between malaria and dengue, they are totally different illnesses.

“The differrence is, yung dengue nagkakaroon ng rashes while ang malaria naman ay may kasamang chills. Although magkaiba talaga yan sila dahil ang malaria ay parasiticm while ang dengue is viral,” he explained.

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