33 Cotabato quake evacuees afflicted with dengue fever
KIDAPAWAN CITY –– Thirty-three earthquake evacuees in Makilala town in Cotabato province are suspected of being inflicted with dengue fever as rains soaked the surroundings of their evacuation center, breeding carrier mosquitoes.
Makilala health officer Georgina Sorilla said the patients were mostly children aged 8 years old and adults aged 24 years old.
Originally from Barangay Bato, the evacuees live in temporary shelters in Luna Norte village after authorities discouraged them from returning to their village due to the risk of landslides.
They fled their homes during the series of earthquakes in October last year.
After learning of the situation, Sorilla immediately ordered fogging operations in the evacuation site.
The condition of the 33 patients was discovered Tuesday as health workers made the rounds of disease surveillance.
Norma Bayaan, Luna Norte barangay health worker, said the individuals manifested symptoms of dengue, such as fever and rashes, and were advised to seek medical attention.
However, only 19 of them consented to be brought to the hospital, while the 14 opted to stay home for self-medication.
Bayaan said the 14 were content with drinking tawa-tawa concoction, a popular herbal remedy thought to cure dengue, although they are constantly reminded to seek medical attention in the rural health unit so they could be given appropriate medication.
Those who sought hospital care are in Makilala and Kidapawan City.
At the start of the coronavirus health crisis, Governor Nancy Catamco has ordered strict quarantine measures in the evacuation centers, fearing its fast spread among the cramped shelters.
So far, no coronavirus disease (COVID-19) case has been reported in the evacuation sites.
But the mosquitoes breached through this health shield.
Bayaan said they suspect that the mosquitoes carrying the dengue virus could have bred in the nearby rubber plantation, where there are plenty of coconut shells used to contain rubber cup lumps.
The Provincial Epidemiology Surveillance Unit counted 70 dengue cases in Makilala town as of June 30. Two of them, a minor and a senior citizen, have died.
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