By MAR S. ARGUELLES
LEGAZPI CITY — The Department of Health (DOH) Bicol confirmed that at least eight people have died and 1,003 more were hospitalized in six Bicol provinces due to dengue, a mosquito borne disease.
The surge in dengue cases for the first two quarters of the year prompted health authorities to be on heightened alert even as surveillance units of the DOH in the six provinces of Bicol have been activated.
The DOH epidemiology surveillance team said reports from field units indicate that current figures are disturbing enough since it showed a six percent increase in cases compared to the 943 cases registered during the same period last year.
Camilo Aquino, DOH dengue regional coordinator, said that five of the fatalities were from Camarines Sur, one of which was reported from Naga City. On the other hand, the provinces of Albay, Sorsogon and Masbate each had one casualty from dengue.
Aquino said Camarines Sur topped the list of dengue cases with 469 cases (10 from Naga City), followed by Albay with 314, Sorsogon with 101, Catanduanes with seven, Masbate 34, and Camarines Norte with only 12 cases.
DOH records indicate that based on comparative data from last year, this year’s cases in Albay rose by 330 percent, followed by Sorsogon with 83 percent increase and Catanduanes with 24 percent increase.
The rest of the provinces posted a down trend, from 7 percent to 37 percent.
The DOH has reiterated its call for various district and municipal health units to intensify their sanitation and clean-up campaigns to curb the rising incidence of dengue during this period.
The DOH likewise directed health authorities to initiate the “4S strategies” in combating dengue. The strategy advices to search and destroy, seek early consultation, say no to indiscriminate fogging, and self-protection.
It also called on the residents to continue the 4:00 o’clock habit that ensures cleanliness in the household surroundings. Barangays are also urged to mobilize their dengue brigades to monitor anti-dengue drives in their respective villages.