Dengue outbreak in Palawan raises concerns

(File photo)


The advent of dengue in Palawan is now at an alarming level after the number of cases rose to 116 percent from January to June this year compared to the same period in 2018, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) in MIMAROPA said.

Because of this, the DOH in the region has already declared an outbreak to allow for the immediate processing of logistics such as medicines and testing kits.

Noel Orosco, regional epidemiology and surveillance unit coordinator, said Thursday their recorded cases in Palawan were 1,343 since January up to the first week of July.

“Sa Palawan na mayroong 1,343 cases mula January 2019 ay 116 percent increase compared sa five years average na 621. ‘Yong 2014 hanggang 2018 ang average na kaso for the same period ay mayroon lang 621 pero this year ay napakataas,” he said.

Data showed that cases from Sofronio Española, Puerto Princesa City, and El Nido compose 48 percent of the total recorded in the MIMAROPA region.

Sofronio Española has 38 cases in Pulot Center, seven in Abo-Abo, and two cases in Pulot Interior or a total of 48.

In Puerto Princesa City, Barangay Buenavista has 21 cases, 11 in Cabayugan, and three cases in each barangays of Sta. Monica, Tagabenit, Tiniguiban with a total of 41.

On the other hand, eight cases have been recorded in Barangay Manlag in El Nido.

DOH also recorded two deaths since January to July from the towns of San Vicente and Brooke’s Point.

For the last four weeks, Palawan has a total of 110 dengue cases from the top three areas.

Orosco pointed out that the highest number of cases was usually recorded in urban areas because of the proliferation of plastic containers which serve as breeding places of the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carry the dengue virus.

“Madalas after ng misting sinasabi nila na may lamok pa rin ‘di ba? Ang misting kasi ay adult lang na lamok ang target, ‘yong infected na dengue pero ang kiti-kiti ay hindi napapatay ‘yon. Kaya ina-advice talaga na before ang misting ay maglinis muna ng paligid, alisin ang mga breeding areas ‘yong mga stagnant na tubig para sigurado na wala na. Mamamatay nga ang mga adult pero ang kiti-kiti nandyan pa ay wala rin ‘yon,” he said.

He added that human sweat and burning of leaves usually attract the mosquitoes.

Orosco added that most of the victims are children in schools who sweat a lot, attracting the mosquitoes that carry dengue due to lactate acid and carbohydrates.

“Ang lamok kasi naa-attract sa lactate acid at carbohydrates ng mga bata kaya dapat ‘wag masyadong magpapawis ang mga bata kasi inviting ‘yon sa mga lamok. Then, isa sa practice natin na akala natin nakakatulong ay ang pagpapausok kasi kapag nagsindi ka ng mga dahon — pero ang usok nila ay may carbon dioxide which is also the same sa pawis na attractive sa lamok,” Orosco pointed out.

Romalyn Racho, health education and promotion officer of the DOH MIMAROPA, reminded the role of the public in preventing the spread of the disease.

“Sa atin po kasi nasa sa atin ang paggawa, kahit anong intervention ang ginagawa ng pamahalaan ay balewala ‘yon kung tayo mismo ay hindi naman nagagawa o hindi natin alam ang role natin para maiwasan ang mga ganitong sakit,” Racho said.

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