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South Cotabato reports rising dengue cases

June 15, 2021 - Tuesday 6:06 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image Jose Barroquillo, mosquito-borne diseases coordinator of the South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (Screen grab of live streamed media forum)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Health personnel in South Cotabato have raised concern over the rising cases of dengue this year in parts of the province.

Jose Barroquillo Jr., the mosquito-borne diseases coordinator of the South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), said Tuesday they already recorded a total of 728 confirmed dengue cases and six fatalities from Jan. 1 to June 7.

The fatalities are from Koronadal City and the municipalities of Norala, Tampakan, Tantangan, Lake Sebu, and Tupi.

Barroquillo said the current infections are 24-percent higher than the 589 cases, with only three deaths, recorded in the same period last year.

“We have not yet reached the alert and epidemic threshold but we have to act now and not wait for the situation to worsen,” he said in a virtual media forum in Koronadal City hosted by the Provincial Information Office.

Citing a report from the IPHO’s epidemiology and surveillance unit, Barroquillo said there has been a clustering of dengue cases or confirmed infections in four consecutive weeks in eight barangays in the province.

These are Barangays Sto. Nino, Sta. Cruz, Gen. Paulino Santos, and Zone 3 in Koronadal City; Libertad and Canahay in Surallah; Cannery Site in Polomolok; and Poblacion in Tupi.

He said 215 cases or 29.53 percent of the 728 patients were aged 11 to 20 years old, 209 or 28.71 percent are aged 10 years old and below, and 134 or 18.41 percent are aged 21 to 30 years old.

“The oldest patient is 91 years old and we actually have two cases. This means that anybody can get dengue so we should not be complacent about it,” he added.

Barroquillo said they are currently coordinating with the city and municipal health offices as well as the barangays to further intensify the campaign against the deadly disease.

He said the province needs to be proactive to prevent another outbreak, which last happened in 2019 that resulted in over 7,000 infections and 30 deaths.

Ex-officio board member Rolando Malabuyoc, the president of the province’s Liga ng mga Barangay, said he issued an advisory to the 199 barangay councils to intensify their efforts in combating the emergence and spread of dengue.

He urged them to specifically enhance the implementation of the Department of Health’s “4-S” against the disease.

“4-S” stands for search and destroy mosquito breeding sites; secure self-protection measures from mosquito bites like wearing long sleeves and pants and use of mosquito repellants for uncovered skin; seek early consultation for fever of more than one day; and support fogging/spraying only in hot spots areas where an increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak.

Malabuyoc said communities and households should conduct daily cleanup activities even for five minutes to eliminate possible breeding places of dengue-carrying mosquitoes.

“This is still the most effective way to contain dengue just like what we did in 2019,” he added. Allen Estabillo

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