The City Health Office (CHO) is closely monitoring the increasing number of dengue cases in Puerto Princesa, which had a noticeable rise during the first week of August.
Kent Ventura, Vector Borne Disease Program Coordinator of CHO, said while there is an increase, the number is not yet alarming. He also said it is lower compared to the same period last year, although he does not have the exact figures.
As of today, the city has logged a total of 201 cases since January, with the majority of the cases from the Poblacion area. The disease has also claimed four lives this year – one each from the barangays of Sta. Monica and Bancao-Bancao, and two from Brgy. Sicsican.
“Hindi pa naman alarming, although nakita natin na mayroong pagtaas [ng cases] kasi compared to last week, meroon lang tayong 188 cases, this week meron nang 201 cases. Compared sa case threshold natin, hindi pa naman lumalampas, controlled pa naman natin. Hindi ko lang masabi sa ngayon kung ilan yung threshold,” Ventura said.
“Nangunguna yung Barangay San Pedro na may 35 cases, San Miguel 26, Sta. Monica 24, Sicsican 17, and San Jose 16 cases,” he added.
Ventura also said he sees as a factor that contributed to fewer cases this year is the absence of water supply interruptions.
“Kung napansin ninyo, wala na tayong water interruption in the last two or three years. Isang malaking bagay kasi pag may water interruption, yung mga tao nag-iipon ng tubig sa mga bahay nila, so may pamumugaran yung lamok. Ang isang problema naman ngayon is yung panaka-nakang pag-ulan, almost every other day, kaya kailangan maging aware yung mga tao at bantayan yung possible breeding sites,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Ventura also said they are continuously conducting information and education campaigns on how to combat dengue in every barangay, stating that information is the primary key to addressing the problem.
He also added that despite the rising number of cases, the strategies and preventive measures being implemented are effective, noting that over the years, people have become aware of the causes and they already know the basics of prevention.
“Kasi kung hindi natin ginagawa baka, doble o mas mataas pa ang cases natin ngayon. Kung alam natin ang dapat gawin ay maiiwasan natin ang pagkamatay dahil sa dengue, yung pagdami ng kaso. Lagi tayong nakatutok actually, hindi lang tuwing tag-ulan kundi all year-round para maiwasan nating magkaroon ng surge ng cases,” he said.
“Lahat tayo may magagawa, lalo na yung sa 4S natin—yung search and destroy breeding places, self-protection measures, seek early consultation and support misting/spraying,” he added.