By Mary Judaline Partlow

STAGNANT WATER. Health authorities in Negros Oriental are calling on the public to eliminate mosquito breeding sites such as this mud puddle, as dengue cases are on the rise. The provincial health office reported on Wednesday (June 26, 2024) that Negros Oriental logged 1,251 dengue cases with four deaths since January 1. (PNA photo by Mary Judaline Flores Partlow)

DUMAGUETE CITY – Dengue cases in Negros Oriental for the first half of the year rose to 151 percent higher than that of the same period last year, a health official said Wednesday.

Noel Ferrero, the Provincial Health Office’s (PHO) dengue coordinator, said during a Kapihan forum here that 1,251 cases with four deaths were reported in the province from January 1 to June 22.

For the same period in 2023, only 499 dengue cases with no deaths were reported, he added.

The ten areas with the highest number of cases include Dumaguete City (128), Guihulngan City (121), Bais City (92), Tanjay City (92), Jimalalud (86), Sibulan (82), La Libertad (67), Mabinay (64), Siaton (60), and Ayungon (59).

The four dengue-related deaths were reported in Sibulan, Ayungon, Bacong, and Dumaguete.

Dengue cases are expected to continue increasing this year, based on trends since 2011, Ferrero said.

“Our dengue cases usually rise every two to three years,” he said.

Ferrero added that the PHO is considering the implementation of a dengue fast lane in all hospitals and rural health units (RHUs) for early detection and swift management.

He also called on the barangays to support the province’s blood donation program, with the PHO developing a list of possible donors for dengue patients.

Likewise, the PHO is intensifying its integrated vector management to eliminate mosquito breeding sites, such as emptying containers, cans, old tires, and other water vessels and cleaning out stagnant water.

Ferrero called on the public to support efforts to intensify the fight against dengue, especially as Dengue Prevention Month is celebrated in June.

A national government-led campaign on dengue awareness highlights the 5S Strategy Kontra Dengue in combating the disease.

The strategy involves Search-and-destroy of mosquito breeding places; Self-protection; Seeking early consultation; Supporting fogging, spraying, and impregnation of mosquito nets and curtains in outbreak areas; and Sustaining hydration. (PNA)