TACLOBAN CITY—The hot weather brought largely by climate change and the El Nino phenomenon may have had a hand in doubling the number of dengue fever cases in Eastern Visayas which prompted the Department of Health office in the region to renew a call to local governments to raise the level of their fight against the mosquito-borne disease.
As of June 15, the number of dengue cases across the region has already reached 4,437 with 17 deaths, according to Boyd Cerro, regional DOH epidemiologist.
The figure was double that of the same period in 2018, Cerro said. In 2018, the region had 2,011 dengue cases and 14 deaths.
“This increase in dengue fever cases in the region is very alarming,” Cerro said.
He said high temperatures that bring heat indexes of past 40 degrees Celsius in many parts of the country may have been a factor in the increase in the number of dengue cases.
During hot and humid weather, he said, “mosquitoes easily hatch” and the heat makes it “easy for them to grow and spread.”
Cerro said the number of dengue cases in Eastern Visayas in 2019 is on its way to surpassing that of 2018 “considering its current trend.”
He said there were 11,023 dengue fever cases in the region in 2018 with 61 deaths.
The DOH, he added, was appealing for the cooperation of local government units and schools to help stop the spread of dengue fever.
“The DOH could not do this alone,” Cerro said.
There was nothing new about preventive measures that Cerro recommended—cleaning surroundings and getting rid of breeding places of mosquitoe—but he said these should be done regularly.
Of 17 dengue fatalities in Eastern Visayas, three were from Guiuan town, Eastern Samar and two from Tacloban City.
These areas had one fatality each: Kawayan, Biliran; Sogod, Southern Leyte; Mahaplag, Babatngon, Merida and Babatngon—all in Leyte; Calbayog and Catbalogan cities, all in Samar; General MacArthur, Hernani, Mercedes, Quinapondan—all in Eastern Samar. (Editor: Tony Bergonia)
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