• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Aside from hand, foot and mouth disease, dengue cases in Negros Occidental are on the rise, as the Provincial Health Office reported 148 cases, as of February 4, compared to 61 in the same period of 2022, registering an increase of 142.62 percent.
The PHO also reported a dengue related death in Himamaylan City.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ernell Tumimbang disclosed said that there is an order from Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson and Provincial Administrator Atty. Rayfrando Diaz, that the dengue campaign should now be an annual affair, rather than every three years.
San Carlos City topped the 31 local government units, excluding highly urbanized Bacolod City, having the highest number of dengue cases for the period from January 1 to February 4, 2023.
On the other hand, the City Health Office reported 50 dengue cases, with one death in Bacolod City, which is a 72.4 percent increase, compared to the same period in 2022.
The nine-year-old fatality was reported by CHO to be a resident of Brgy. Villamonte, Bacolod City.
Dengue is transmitted through the bite of dengue infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. CHO identified Brgys. Cabug, Estefania, Vista Alegre and Pahanocoy in Bacolod City, with clustering of dengue cases.
Clustering of cases was also reported by PHO in the cities of Bago, Cadiz and Silay, as well as the municipality of Pulupandan.
Tumimbang also reported a cholera-related fatality in Silay City.
As to the rising cases also of hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) by 6,300 percent, compared to last year, Tumimbang said it will increase if there is unabated transmission.
CHO also logged 28 HFMD cases in Bacolod City, with affected individuals having ages from one to 16 years old.
HFMD, a highly contagious viral disease, as reported by the Department of Health, is common among young children under five years old.
While the illness is not serious, DOH said it has become an important public health disease due to its tendency to cause large outbreaks and potential deaths, among infants and children.
Tumimbang said that HFMD should not be downplayed.
Its prevention similar to the COVID-19, which includes wearing of face masks, proper hand washing and isolation, he said, adding that the victim should go to the hospital or nearest health services provider, should the symptoms become severe.*