DOH to communities: Clean up to bring dengue cases down

WITH an increase in the number of cases this month, the Department of Health (DOH) 7 reminded the people to clean their surroundings regularly and stay protected against the dengue virus and leptospirosis.DOH 7 Director Jaime Bernadas confirmed on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, that there had been a “slight surge” of cases, particularly for dengue, for almost two months now.For leptospirosis, Bernadas said several cases were reported, but they have not received reports of new cases at present.Data from the DOH revealed that for dengue, there was an increase in the number of cases from January to August. Central Visayas recorded 12,062 cases and 73 deaths. This increased to 13,182 cases and 81 deaths in September.As of September, Cebu Province tops the list with 5,259 cases and 32 deaths, followed by Cebu City with 2,348 cases and 25 deaths and Bohol with 1,959 cases and one death.Other local government units (LGUs) on the list are Negros Oriental with 1,478 cases and six deaths, Lapu-Lapu City with 1,329 cases and 11 deaths, Mandaue City with 702 cases and six deaths and Siquijor with 107 cases and no deaths reported.Bernadas said the region has always recorded a high number of dengue cases, particularly in 2017, when there were around 16,000 to 17,000 cases.But Bernadas clarified that these cases include those undiagnosed or dengue suspected cases.“Our style of reporting for dengue cases is that we include on the list those who experience dengue-like symptoms such as fever, among others, so they can be monitored, making the figures seem quite high,” said Bernadas.Meanwhile, Central Visayas logged 129 leptospirosis cases and 22 deaths as of Sept. 10.Bohol had the highest number of cases in the region with 48 cases and two deaths. Cebu Province recorded 23 cases and seven deaths, while Cebu City listed 23 cases and nine deaths. Negros Oriental reported 19 cases and one death.Also on the list of LGUs with a high number of leptospirosis cases are Mandaue City with eight cases and two deaths, Lapu-Lapu City with seven cases and one death and Siquijor with one case and zero death.Bernadas said leptospirosis cases usually peak during the rainy season, when the public is exposed to flood water contaminated with the urine of rodents, which carry the bacteria that causes leptospirosis.Among its symptoms are fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, vomiting or diarrhea.PreventionBernadas said prevention is the best protection against dengue fever and leptospirosis.He encouraged the public to observe the “4 o’clock habit,” which is searching and destroying possible breeding sites of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes like stagnant water in bottles, broken pots or receptacles every 4 p.m. to prevent dengue.Bernadas also suggested using mosquito repellant, especially when going out.He also urged people to wear protective boots and avoid descending into flood waters, especially those with open wounds, to prevent getting infected with leptospirosis.“Of course, if we know ourselves that we waded in flood waters, it is best that we immediately go to the nearest health centers to be vaccinated with Profilaxis (antibiotics against leptospirosis),” said Bernadas.“For dengue, if we have experienced any dengue symptoms such as fever and rash, we have to seek consultation immediately before things get worse,” he added.Bernadas also said local health offices are mandated to implement the 4S strategy (Search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, Self-protection measures, Say no to indiscriminate fogging and Seek early consultation) and misting, among other measures, to prevent the spread of the disease.