Intensified drive vs measles, dengue fails to make a dent in C. Visayas
CEBU CITY – Despite the intensified government campaign against measles and dengue, cases continue to rise in Central Visayas.
Cases of measles went up to 316 with four deaths as of Feb. 19, according to the surveillance report from the Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7).
The latest fatality was an 8-month-old boy from Carcar City, Cebu.
Dengue cases also went up in Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Negros Oriental.
Based on the report of the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU), dengue cases in Region 7 reached 3,681 with 28 deaths as of Feb. 16.
Cebu City had the most number of dengue cases with 430 and five deaths followed by Lapu-Lapu City, 361 cases and 1 death; Mandaue City, 205 cases and one death; and, Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental with 114 cases and one death.
Last week, the DOH-7 recommended to the nine local government units that dengue outbreak be declared in Lapu-Lapu City and Sibonga town in Cebu, Cebu Province; the towns of Trinidad, Cortes, Dauis, Clarin, Loon and Tagbilaran City in Bohol and Lazi town in Siquijor after dengue cases reached epidemic thresholds which meant that the number of cases went up by at least 10 percent in the past five years.
Despite the recommendation of the DOH, none of the LGUs heeded the advice.
Dr. Shelbay Blanco, RESU chief in Central Visayas, said the LGUs were not too keen in declaring an outbreak since it might affect their tourism industry.
But he added most of these LGUs had already implemented measures to address the outbreak.
The Department of Tourism in Central Visayas (DOT-7) had been coordinating with these nine LGUs.
“They treat it as a health issue, and we, at DOT, treat it as a safety and security concern,” said DOT-7 director Shalimar Tamano.
While tourism had not been affected, he stressed that problems on measles and dengue should be contained immediately.
“We are watching it closely,” Tamano added.
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