Dengue outbreak declared in Iloilo
ILOILO CITY, Iloilo, Philippines — The number of dengue cases in Iloilo province for the first half of this year is nearing 4,000, prompting Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. to declare an outbreak.
Defensor, in an executive order released last week, directed all district and provincial hospitals to extend free service and assistance to dengue patients.
He also asked local governments, through city and municipal health officers, to conduct antidengue drives every Saturday.
Defensor said the declaration was necessary to enable the province to resort to emergency purchases of medicines, dengue kits and intravenous fluids.
The governor issued the declaration on July 5 after a meeting of the provincial chapter of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines, where the continued increase of dengue cases was discussed.
From Jan. 1 to June 28, dengue cases in the province reached 3,897, with 18 deaths reported, according to data from the provincial health office.
The number of cases is nearly eight times higher (78.76 percent) than the 439 cases recorded during the same period last year.
Among the areas with the highest number of cases are Pototan town (376), Passi City (317), Calinog town (252), Concepcion town (214) and Cabatuan town (181). Iloilo province has 42 towns and two cities.
Dengue, which can be fatal, is a mosquito-borne infection caused by the bite of the virus-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito. The infection triggers a severe flu-like illness often followed by a severe drop in a patient’s platelet count.
While dengue cases are recorded throughout the year, most cases usually happen during the rainy season when stagnant water becomes breeding ground of mosquitoes.
Health officials have continuously advised residents to destroy breeding grounds of mosquitoes, urging them to get rid of bottles, cans and other containers and objects where water accumulates.
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