Dengue outbreak hits 9 Cavite towns, cities
The Cavite provincial health office has declared an outbreak of dengue in seven towns and two cities following an increase in the number of cases of the mosquito-borne disease during the first quarter of this year.
Dr. Nelson Soriano, provincial epidemiologist, said health workers recorded 1,499 dengue cases between Jan. 1 and March 11, representing an increase of 64 percent from the 914 cases recorded during the same period last year.
This number, he said, exceeded what medical experts called “alert threshold,” computed against the population and based on the lowest number of dengue occurrence recorded over nine years, prompting health officials to declare an outbreak.
An outbreak was declared in the towns of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, Indang, Mendez, Naic, Noveleta, Rosario and Tanza, and the cities of Cavite and Trece Martires.
Soriano said five people, aged between 4 and 23, had died.
None of the fatalities, however, was a recipient of the controversial vaccine Dengvaxia, which was used in the national government dengue immunization program starting 2016.
According to government records, Cavite is one of the provinces with the highest number of schoolchildren inoculated with Dengvaxia, with 143,192 pupils from public schools.
The dengue outbreak in Cavite came amid the Department of Health’s pronouncement that dengue cases in the country had declined during the first two months of 2018.
Soriano said Cavite Gov. Jesus Crispin Remulla saw no reason yet to declare a province-wide outbreak, but ordered an intensified cleanup drive in communities to “search and destroy” places where mosquitoes bred.
“You can’t make conclusions that because many [in Cavite] had received the vaccine [Dengvaxia, it would have prevented an] outbreak,” Soriano said in a telephone interview on Thursday.
For one, he said those who had died were outside the target age group of the immunization program.
He said major factors contributing to the rise of dengue cases were still poor sanitation and lack of public awareness of the mosquito-borne disease.
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