By MAR S. ARGUELLES
LEGAZPI CITY — Dengue cases in Albay alarmingly surged to 645 in July from the 364 cases recorded in the first six months of this year, prompting health authorities to heighten its alert and declare several villages in this city and the towns of Daraga and Tiwi under dengue hot spot.
The Provincial Health Office (PHO) said Monday while epidemiology surveillance team recorded two deaths, the mosquito borne disease have enormously leaped 279 percent to 645 cases recorded from January to July, way above to the 364 cases reported in June this year.
Alarmed by the continued rise in dengue cases in July despite measures implemented, Albay Governor Joey Salceda activated on Friday the Albay Dengue Task Force and assessed the dengue situation in the province and devised strategies to confront it.
The Albay Dengue Task Force agreed to use a color coding system as the tool for targeting the health risks and execute the proportional remedial measures to significantly bring down the number of cases not just back to normal levels but to even lower incidence in the next two months.
The color coding is a system to determine whether dengue fever is present in a community. It has four different color codes with different interpretations. There are accompanying interventions in every color code.
Code Red means there is an disease outbreak, Yellow – hot spot an area where an increase in number of cases was observed for two consecutive weeks; Green – Clustering of cases where more than two cases is reported in a village; and White -no cases reported in an area.
Based on the assessment, there is no dengue outbreak yet but the task force declared a dengue hot spot or Code Yellow in Barangay 16, Washington Drive, here.
And there are six Code Green (alarming increase) this are in the villages of Arimbay, Buragwis, Sagpon and San Roque in this city, Daraga: Sagpon and Tiwi: Joroan.
Health interventions are being concentrated on these areas and being coordinated with local chief executives and rural health/city health officers and the barangay councils.
Salceda ordered the deployment of the Albay Health and Emergency Management Team (AHEM) to these high incidence areas to assist in the implementation of dengue countermeasures.
Health surveillance team said town and cities with high incidence of dengue are Legazpi topping the list with 287, followed by Daraga with 179 cases and Tabaco City with 62 cases, Camalig 24, Ligao 18, Tiwi 15 cases.
The PHO said half of the dengue patients were both children and adults.
Salceda also directed the PHO and the various district hospitals to intensify their respective sanitation and clean-up campaign to curb the rising incidence of the dreaded mosquito borne disease.
The governor said dengue cases increased hundred times during the first half of the year may be attributed to the effect of Climate Change spawned by the El Niňo phenomenon of dry spell.
He said “until now we are still feeling the effect of the dry spell, people are still getting sick, they cannot work thus affecting their way of life.”
He also directed health authorities to initiate the 4S strategies in combating dengue these include: search and destroy, seek early consultation, say no to indiscriminate fogging, and self protection.
Salceda also reiterated that residents should continue to practice the 4 o’clock habit that will ensure cleanliness in the households’ surroundings, furthermore, barangays should mobilize their dengue brigades to monitor anti-dengue drives in their respective villages.