DOH: 2 mosquito-borne diseases in Bicol noted

By Connie Calipay


The Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol on June 11 reported an increase in cases of dengue fever and new cases of Japanese encephalitis, both mosquito-borne diseases, in the region.


In a report that was based on its dengue surveillance, DOH noted that 77 dengue cases were recorded from May 22 to June 4, compared to 23 in the same period last year.


“This represents a 235 percent increase,” the report said.


Camarines Sur logged 49 dengue cases; Camarines Norte, 17; Masbate, 5; Catanduanes, 4; and Albay and Sorsogon, one each.


Meanwhile, the DOH also recorded seven cases of Japanese encephalitis from January to April 30. No such case was reported in the same period last year.


Camarines Sur had four (one each in the towns of Bula, San Jose, Lagonoy, and Minalabas); Sorsogon had two, (one each in Sorsogon City and Gubat town); and one in Manito, Albay.


Dengue is transmitted by a day-biting mosquito that lays eggs in clear and stagnant water found in flower vases, cans, rain barrels, and old rubber tires, among others. The adult mosquitoes rest in dark places.


On the other hand, the carrier of Japanese encephalitis is a mosquito that lives on rice and pig farms. The infection is transmitted through a bite of an infected mosquito.


To prevent the spread of these diseases, DOH has urged the public to minimize outdoor activities during cooler hours at dusk and dawn when mosquitos are active, use mosquito repellent on exposed skin, stay in air-conditioned or well-screened rooms, use mosquito nets, and get vaccinated, especially before traveling to areas where Japanese encephalitis is endemic.


“Follow the 4S strategy -- Search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, use Self-protection measures, Seek early consultation, and Say yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak or a hotspot. Everyone is reminded to keep the environment free of mosquito breeding sites, especially with the onset of the rainy season,” it said. (PNA)