DOH-Bicol records rising dengue cases

LEGAZPI CITY -- The Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol is urging the public to practice the "4S" strategy to combat the increasing number of dengue cases in the region.

The surveillance report of the DOH-Bicol's Public Health Preparedness and Response Unit recorded 519 cases since January 1 this year against the 397 cases during the same period last year.

DOH-Bicol Dengue Program Coordinator Maria Cecilia Pan, in an interview on Wednesday, said the "4S" is the only effective way to curb the increasing cases of dengue in the region.

The "4S" stands for “Search and Destroy” mosquito breeding places, “Self-protection measures.” Seek early consultation” when having fever, and “Say yes to fogging” as a last resort when there is an impending outbreak.

Camarines Sur province has the highest number of cases with 272; followed by Sorsogon with 83; Albay -- 68; Camarines Norte -- 41; Masbate -- 35 and Catanduanes -- 20.

“4S is very effective but maintaining cleanliness in our community is the best and cheapest way to fight dengue. By regularly cleaning, disposing of materials that can contain stagnant water and make sure irrigation is not clogged with these practices we can ensure that there will be no more breeding places for mosquitoes,” Pan said.

DOH OIC Regional Director, Dr. Ernie Vera noted the importance of a community-based approach against the mosquito-borne disease.

He said cooperation within the community is the key to avoid dengue.

“There will be no dengue if we practice 4S every day and give our full cooperation in community-based cleaning activities," Vera said.

“Dengue is preventable, this is why we urge the public to support the 4S strategy of the DOH to decrease mortality,” he added.

Vera also reminded the public to immediately consult a doctor when experiencing symptoms such as sudden high fever, severe joint and muscle pains, headache, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

Suspected dengue patients can undergo the NS1 antigen test, which is available in all rural health units and allows rapid detection of the viral disease. (PNA)