February 9, 2023

Dengue fever cases in the Cordillera have increased by 332 percent with three deaths for the first four months of the year alone.

As of April 16, the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit reported there are 883 cases recorded compared to the 204 cases for the same period last year. The number of deaths as of April 16 has already equaled the three deaths for the whole year in 2021.

Only Abra has not recorded a case, so far.

Apayao recorded biggest hike in cases with 172 cases for the first quarter of 2022 compared to only 10 cases during the same period in 2021 or a 1,620 percent increase; Kalinga, 140 cases compared to 19 in 2021 or 636 percent increase; Mountain Province, 29 cases compared to six in 2021 or a 383 percent increase; Ifugao, 53 cases compared to 12 in 2021 or 341 percent increase; and Benguet, 312 cases compared to 95 cases in 2021 or 227 percent increase.

Baguio City also recorded 125 cases compared to 44 in 2021 or 184 percent increase while cases from outside the region but were recorded in Cordillera-based hospitals account for 52 cases compared to 10 in 2021 or 87 percent increase. 

DOH Entomologist III Alexander Baday said increased mobility due to the reopening of in-person classes and reopening of the economy gave rise to the sudden hike in cases.

He reminded the best way to prevent vector-borne diseases is to maintain cleanliness in the surroundings.

He said using repellants like lotions, patches, bed nets, and curtains laden with insecticide helps prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes but to prevent their reproduction, all possible breeding sites should be eliminated.

“Repellants do not kill the mosquito. Consider how many hours these repellents protect you. Baka magkaroon tayo ng false sense of security. 4S pa rin ang pinaka-effective na panlaban sa pagdami ng mga lamok,” Baday said.

The 4S strategy stands for search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, use self-protection measures, seek early consultation, and support fogging or spraying.  – Rimaliza A. Opiña