by Jane B. Cadalig
The Department of Health is monitoring cases of influenza-like illnesses even with the onset of the summer season.
DOH Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) Nurse Geeny Anne Austria said aside from the usual summer diseases that the agency is keeping an eye on, it also heightened its monitoring on flu-like diseases.
The RESU recorded 1,671 influenza- like illnesses from January to March 18.
Austria said cases of flu-like disease recorded the highest decrease among those monitored by the health agency, but vigilance has been heightened.
Flu-like illnesses are no longer confined to the cold months, Austria said.
“It is expected that cases of flu-like illnesses will decrease during summer, but we now monitor it year-round because any unusual increase in cases indicates that there might be a change in the virus that causes the flu,” he said.
Dengue is also among the diseases that the DOH is monitoring year-round. A total of 306 dengue suspects were recorded during the same period.
“While we expect dengue cases to go down during summer, it is still advisable that the public remain cautious of dengue because it is now a year-round illness,” Austria said.
The DOH reported clustering of dengue cases in Bulanao and Dagupan Centro in Tabuk City, Kalinga. Clustering means two or more cases have been recorded in an area.