Alert on vs dengue: DOH

February 28, 2013 11:21 pm 

By Mar S. Arguelles

LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 28 — Local Government Units (LGUs) are being alerted to keep watch of areas where there are suspected dengue cases and undertake prevention and control measures to have it within usual levels and at the same time caution them against classifying diseases with dengue-like symptoms as dengue.

“Chikungunya”, also a mosquito-borne disease, has symptoms similar to dengue. The latter can cause death while the former is not fatal.

There are presently 330 dengue case suspects monitored by the DOH-CHD Regional Epidemiological and Surveillance Unit (RESU) from its Sentinel Site. There are no reported outbreaks. The number excludes those from private hospitals.

Provincial Health Teams (PHTs) of the DOH-CHD Bicol are doing their job right now reminding Local Chief Executives (LCEs) and Municipal or City Health Officers to take action based on the surveillance data on dengue which are being provided to them by the DOH, Director Gloria J. Balboa said.

In that surveillance data, done on a weekly basis, they can deduce or infer trends or patterns, if there are any, on the frequency of occurrence of dengue and take action. Hotspots or clustering of cases can be known in that data including the possibility of an outbreak. Whatever action they take, the DOH-CHD Bicol shall always extend assistance whenever necessary, she added.

Meantime, Arnel Santiago of the DOH CHD Bicol Regional Epidemiological and Surveillance Unit (RESU), explained what hotspots and clustering of cases mean.

There is clustering when there are two (2) or more cases in a barangay during a specific morbidity week.

A hotspot on the other hand , is one where there are two(2) or more suspected dengue cases for two (2) successive weeks also in one barangay whereas an outbreak is one where there is an excess number of cases in a given period than what is expected, Santiago explains.

Health records indicate that during the period January to February 27 this year, at least 522 dengue cases were reported by various provincial health offices in Bicol.

Albay had 308 cases; followed by Camarines Sur with 92; Catanduanes, 68; Sorsogon, 27; Masbate, 23, and Camarines Norte, four cases.(PNA)

DSP/MSA/CBD/UTB

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