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Albay’s health office raises ‘red f lag’ vs alarming dengue cases

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Albay Provincial Health Office on Friday has a raised a “red flag” warning against dengue following a surge of the mosquito-borne disease in the province with 679 cases reported during the first two quarters of this year.

Dr. Antonio Ludovice, acting provincial health officer said for the period January to May this year records from city and town health units reported that 679 people fell ill of dengue of which six have died of the disease.

Of the reported six deaths, two were male, and the rest were female with age ranging from 4 yrs to 50, Ludovice said

Dengue cases were reported in the towns of Guinobatan, Daraga, Polangui including the cities of Legazpi and Ligao.

Ludovice in a phone interview said that alarmed by rising cases of dengue he deemed it necessary to issue a “red flag” alert a countermeasure that would place the dengue incident under close monitoring to prevent an outbreak.

Based on the report, for the period Jan to May this year, the number of dengue cases has significantly doubled (376) or 124 percent higher as compared to the 303 cases reported during the same period (Jan-May) last year.

He said the figure would change once it has validated the cases reported in Barangay Masarawag in Guinobatan where 39 people were down with dengue this week, while the PHO surveillance team are confirming another group of dengue cases in Barangay Cale in Tiwi town.

Ludovice said “there is no outbreak yet in Albay although the cases are alarming ” the recent case in Barangay Masarawag in Guinobatan is considered an “endemic” since it occurred in certain clustered areas.

He said the main cause of the disease was the unsanitary environment in the community, weather condition, intermittent rainfall causing residual pools of water making this a breeding grounds of mosquitos.

He said to control and prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne disease he reiterated its call to practice the 4S strategy.

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

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