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The dengue threat

As dengue fever continue to become a significant concern in Negros Occidental, which currently tops Region 6 with the greatest number of cases this year, local government units and Negrenses from all sectors of society will have to join hands and work together if we are going to minimize this threat to our health and safety that should be preventable.

Dengue is a viral infection transmitted to humans through the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. While severe dengue is a leading cause of serious illness and death in some Asian and Latin American countries, early detection of disease progression and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates of severe dengue to below 1%.

Prevention and control, which is even more effective than early detection, depends on vector control measures, which is highly dependent on sustained community involvement. This means controlling mosquito populations which usually breed in natural and man-made containers of stagnant water where the Aedes aegypti mosquito eggs can remain viable for several months in dry conditions and will hatch upon contact with water.

With the rainy season in full swing, extra precautions will be necessary to step up dengue prevention efforts in our homes and communities, starting with intensified efforts to clean up surroundings in order to eliminate potential mosquito breeding spots. In areas where stagnant water cannot be totally eliminated, doors and windows will need to be kept closed or have screens properly installed to prevent infected mosquitoes from entering rooms. Increased vigilance with regard to dengue fever symptoms will also be needed to ensure early detection and immediate treatment if ever infections occur.

Dengue infections and its worst outcomes are mostly preventable, as long as the community is aware of the threat and its members actively work together to institute the simple measures to needed to counter it. The rising cases in Negros Occidental is an indication that we need to do more to stop dengue from spreading and endangering more Negrenses.

Our local government units cannot do this alone. They need our cooperation in the fight against dengue. Pitching in will be for our own good.*

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November 2022
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