ILOILO CITY WARNS OF DENGUE CASES EVEN DURING DRY SEASON
AGAINST DENGUE. The City Health Office (CHO) personnel show a misting machine being used against dengue-causing mosquitoes on Thursday (March 28, 2019). The CHO has urged barangays to acquire own misting machines to prevent occurrence of dengue. (Photo by Iloilo City PIO)
ILOILO CITY — The City Health Office (CHO) here has warned that dengue cases may also proliferate during dry season as people store water due to poor supply.
“During this time of El Niño, normally people are storing water,” said Dr. Bernard Caspe, City Health Officer, in an interview Thursday.
Stored clean water, when not properly covered, could serve as breeding sites for the dengue-causing mosquitoes.
He added there are studies showing the life span of mosquitoes is getting shorter, they mature faster and become virulent during the hot season.
A report from the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) of the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) Western Visayas showed that since January 1 until March 9, Iloilo City has 347 cases with three deaths compared to 72 cases and no death in the same period last year.
Meantime, Caspe said that even without a request from the Department of Education (DepEd), the CHO already took the initiative and wrote a letter to all public schools for the conduct of misting.
He said even private schools have requested for the misting.
This week, the CHO requested the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) here to require all barangays in the city to acquire misting machines and larvicide to prevent dengue.
The larvicide is placed in stagnant water where mosquitoes lay their eggs. The misting machine, on the other hand, is filled with insecticide that kills adult mosquitoes.
Barangay watchmen are also being trained on how to properly mix chemicals used during the misting.
Depending on the weather condition, the effect of the misting could last from two weeks to a month.
In response, DILG Iloilo City Director Atty. Ferdinand Panes ordered barangay chairpersons to include in their Local Disaster Risk Reduction Plan, activities and projects to help address the rising cases of dengue.
Caspe added they have already communicated with the Liga ng mga Barangay for the regular cleanup every Saturday and for their community to observe the 4S strategy: search and destroy mosquito breeding places, secure self-protection, seek early consultation and support fogging/spraying only in hotspot areas.
“The simple solution for dengue is to clean your surroundings,” he said.
He talked of a plan for the creation of a task force not only for dengue but for emerging and re-emerging diseases like measles and Zika virus. (PNA)