Rama raises dengue outbreakBy Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
Alarmed by the very high incidence of dengue cases, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama is already pushing the red button to declare a dengue outbreak in the city.
As of July 21 this year, there are already 10 dengue related death and 2,108 dengue cases in the city, according to data from the Deptartment of Health’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit – 7 (Resu 7).
This is a sharp one week rise of 148 new cases from July 14. Resu 7 data revealed 1,960 cases as of July 14. The Cebu City Health Department recorded a slightly lower figure for the same period at 1,642.
Rama said there is a need to mobilize health workers and even barangay officials to join the government’s anti-dengue campaign.
“They should be jolted so that the situation will get to their consciousness,” he said.
Rama yesterday called for a meeting with health officials to discuss strategies that would prevent a further increase in dengue cases.
He is also calling a consultative meeting soon to also solicit suggestions on how to fight the city’s dengue problems.
“We are pursuing an aggressive and no nonsense intervention because we have already reached an outbreak level. This calls for a pronouncement of preparedness and alarm,” he said.
Quoting health officials, Rama told reporters during his noontime press conference that the cycle of dengue cases in the city would normally rise at least every five years.
Rama said he wanted to explore new interventions in fighting dengue carrying mosquitoes like Vietnam’s practice of culturing spiders that feed on mosquito larvae.
Barangay Guadalupe which is also the city’s biggest barangay tops the list of dengue affected residents totaling to 154. (Refer to table 1.)
The CHD report said that 67.6 percent of the dengue patients are children.
His only consolation, he said, was this year’s lower morbidity rate. Only seven deaths were reported during the period as compared to the 8 deaths reported during the same period last year.
The Resu 7 however recorded more deaths at 10 as of July 21, 2012.
“This is already good enough because there is low morbidity rate but still not enough because there are still dengue deaths,” said the mayor.
However, Rama said, he does not want to think of the increase in dengue cases as an indication of “failure” in the implementation of the city’s anti-dengue campaign.
Rama said this is what normally happens when people start to be complacent.
“The laxity and complacency of the people will only bring us to a more problematic situation,” he said.
In order to address the dengue problems, Rama said, he will especially push the barangay officials to conduct massive anti-dengue campaigns in their respective jurisdiction.
Dr. Lee James Maratas, head of the pediatrics ward of the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), said that parents should not hesitate to bring their children suspected to have dengue to CCMC for free treatment.
Maratas said that while there is no cure to dengue, patients will be properly monitored when admitted at the hospital.
He also encourages the adoption of the 4s campaign of the Department of Health : search and destroy, say no to indiscriminate fogging, self protection and seek consultation.