LEGAZPI CITY --- Health officials in Bicol are finding ways to address cases of measles and dengue rising to alarming levels prompting them to remain under “red flag” health alert status.
Data from the Department of Health indicate that as of two quarters (January to June) this year, cases of measles rose to an unprecedented rate of 1,401 percent compared to last year’s reported cases.
Dr. Ernie Vera, acting DOH regional director, said 15 of the 1,261 children reported to be ill of measles had died of the disease.
Camarines Sur holds the highest number of cases with 406, followed by Albay – 373, Sorsogon – 243, Masbate – 162, Camarines Norte – 59, Catanduanes – 17, and others – 1, the report said.
Hounded by this health issue on measles, the DOH advised the public to be vigilant and refer a person showing signs of symptoms to the nearest health facility for early diagnosis and prompt case management.
Symptoms include coughs, colds, red eyes, fever, and skin rashes.
The mosquito-borne disease has so far claimed the lives of 22 people in Bicol, Vera said.
On the reported death, Albay and Camarines Sur had seven each followed by Sorsogon- five, and one each in Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, and Masbate.
Quoting reports from DOH surveillance units, Vera said dengue cases continue to rise to 1,828, approximately a 55-percent surge compared to last year’s 1,177 cases reported.
For the period January to March 30 this year alone, 9 people have died out of the 1,070 dengue patients, DOH records show.
The DOH has declared “Dengue Hot spots” in two barangaysin Naga City, and a barangay in Gigmoto, Catanduanes.
To control and prevent the spread of the mosquito-borne disease the DOH 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.