Dengue outbreak: Girl dies, 27hospitalized in Rapu-Rapu Island

By Rhaydz B. Barcia


LEGAZPI CITY --- A four-year-old girl passed away and 27 more were brought to the hospital because of dengue infection in the island town of Rapu-Rapu in Albay.


The lass was brought by her parents to the Sorsogon provincial hospital, a 45-minute boat ride from the island, said Engr. William G. Sabater, the sanitary engineer of the Albay provincial health office (PHO).


Sabater who conducted an assessment on the escalating cases of dengue transmission in the island said that the majority of the patients are young ones who got infected with the virus in the town’s poblacion.


The provincial health office reported a total of 35 cases of dengue infection in the island, most of the patients are students at Rapu-Rapu National High School.


Sabater said that the rising cases of dengue in the island town of Rapu-Rapu can be considered as outbreak. “Yes, we can say that we have a dengue outbreak here as shown by the increasing dengue cases in the poblacion’s six zones. When we visited the school, we personally discovered the numerous mosquito larvae o kiti-kiti existing in the water containers,” he said.


Rapu-Rapu residents are using containers in storing water due to its inadequate supply in the island. “What could be the worst thing is that the water containers can be the breeding grounds of mosquitoes,” he said.


Sabater said that the town is one of the many communities in the province which do not have good and potable water supply.


He said that they conducted already a massive orientation and information-education campaign to help the residents resolve the increasing dengue cases.


Early stage of dengue infection makes the patient to experience headache, vomiting, diarrhea, and flushed skin. Dengue warning signs: abdominal pain or tenderness, persistent vomiting, clinical signs of fluid accumulation, bleeding, liver enlargement and decreasing platelet count.


Dengue fever is marked by the onset of sudden high fever; severe headache; and pain behind the eyes, muscles, and joints. Some may develop rashes and varying degrees of bleeding in different parts of the body.


Dengue is transmitted by day-biting mosquitoes that lay eggs in clear and stagnant water found in flower vases, cans, rain barrels, and old tires, among others. Adult ones rest in dark or murky places.


To prevent the spread of this mosquito-borne disease, the public is urged to strictly follow the 4S strategy -- Search and Destroy, Self-Protection Measures, Seek Early Consultation, and Support Fogging or Spraying.


A research site said that dengue is a viral infection transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. The virus responsible for causing dengue, is called dengue virus (DENV). There are four DENV serotypes and it is possible to be infected four times.


There is no specific treatment for dengue/severe dengue. Early detection of disease progression associated with severe dengue, and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates of severe dengue to below 1%.


The global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically with about half of the world’s population now at risk. Although an estimated 100-400 million infections occur each year, over 80% are generally mild and asymptomatic.


Dengue prevention and control depends on effective vector control measures. Sustained community involvement can improve vector control efforts substantially.


While many DENV infections produce only mild illness, DENV can cause an acute flu-like illness. Occasionally this develops into a potentially lethal complication, called severe dengue.