Negrenses warned on “Dengue Epidemic Year”

DUMAGUETE CITY – Negros Oriental health authorities have urged their local folks to support and participate in efforts to prevent the rise in dengue cases amid the onset of the rainy season and “outbreak” year.

NegOr Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion on Tuesday told the Philippine News Agency this year is “critical” because it could become a Dengue “epidemic year.” which comes once every three years, dengue cases peak up especially starting June.

In 2020 and 2021, Negros Oriental recorded zero deaths due to dengue, which health authorities attributed to the Covid-19 restrictions that limited the movement of people. This year, however, two dengue-related deaths were already reported — one in February and another in April.

Estacion said while dengue cases are still minimal since the start of this year, people should start cleaning their backyards and eradicating breeding sites of mosquitos.

“We have already started distributing NS1 (dengue virus antigen detection) kits to hospitals and rural health units,” she said.

Together with the DOH in the province, local health authorities focus on the preventive aspect of any communicable diseases as Estacion appealed to the people for cooperation and support.

Meanwhile, DOH-Negros Oriental officer-in-charge Jennifer Remollo said the agency’s anti-dengue campaign, dubbed 4S, must be constantly observed to prevent the rise of cases.

The 4S Strategy stands for search-and-destroy of mosquito-breeding places; secure self by wearing protective clothing and using insect repellent lotions; seek early consultation at the earliest time possible when fever and other symptoms appear; and say “no” to indiscriminate fogging.

Remollo said the 4S anti-dengue program must be continued all year-round and not just seasonal, such as during the rainy months only. (PNA)