The City Health Office (CHO) has set up a “dengue fast lane” to conduct tests and laboratories in Puerto Princesa, where 14 people have died from the mosquito-borne disease.
Located at the City Coliseum, the dengue fast lane provides free consultation and blood examination to suspected patients.
The head of the CHO, Dr. Ricardo Panganiban, said that people can also request for fogging and misting, but they still have to approve them.
According to him, the CHO recorded 429 total dengue cases in the city between January 1 and October 15, with 14 deaths.
“Nag-start na ang ating dengue fast lane at mayroon din tayong hotline na matatawagan nila. Puwede sila mag-request ng misting or fogging pero ‘yong priority natin ay ‘yong mga may clustering ng cases–schools, ‘yon ang priority natin (The dengue fast lane already started and we also have a hotline that they can call. They can request for misting or fogging, but our priority are areas with clustering cases, schools are our priority),” he said.
“Kung nag-request lang sila dahil gusto lang nila ay baka hindi pagbigyan ‘yon. Puwede mo naman gawin ang 4S kasi ang fogging ay doon talaga ito dapat sa mga matataas ang cases (We might not approve it if they only requested because they wanted to. They can do the 4S because fogging is only used in areas with high cases),” he added.
Panganiban urged the public to practice the 4S (search breeding sites, self-protection, seek early treatment, and support misting or fogging) in order to prevent the increase of cases.
The 10 barangays in Puerto Princesa City with the highest dengue cases, according to data from the Vector Borne MIMAROPA as of October 19, are Sta Monica, San Pedro, San Miguel, San Jose, Sicsican, Bancao-Bancao, Maunlad, Tinuguiban, San Manuel, and Mandaragat.
He stated that the trend of cases was decreasing, with 97 cases recorded in July being considered the peak month.
In August, 89 cases were recorded, 52 in September, and 18 as of October 15.
“Pinakamataas noong July, then ngayong October bumaba, pero ang pinaka maraming mortality ay September. Mostly, mga bata ang namamatay kasi ‘yong immune response ng mga bata ay [mababa,] nahihirapan sila (The highest number of cases occurred in July, then decreased in October, but the highest number of fatalities occurred in September. The majority of those who died were children, whose immune systems are weakened and make it challenging for them to fight infections),” he said.
Dengue, like COVID-19, has different variants and is also transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, according to Panganiban.
He explained that identifying dengue variants requires genome sequencing and other scientific research.