Pangasinan is far below the dengue (epidemic) threshold with a 31.2 percent decrease of reported dengue cases this year (3,122) compared to the same period (January 1 to August 10) in 2018 with 4,536 dengue cases.
Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director Valeriano Jesus V. Lopez reported this in a meeting with Governor Amado I. Espino III on August 15 held at the Urduja House conference room, Capitol Complex, Lingayen, as he assured the readiness of hospitals in the province in attending to the dengue patients.
“There is an alarming dengue situation in the country today, but Pangasinan is far below the (epidemic) threshold. However, there is quite a number of localities going beyond (the threshold) which is the focus of our attention,” Lopez said.
The decrease of dengue cases, Lopez said, is attributed to the compliance of the Provincial Government thru the Provincial Health Office (PHO), and the municipal and city health offices to the DOH recommendation regarding the conduct of intervention strategies on dengue prevention and control.
Before the onset of rainy season, Governor Espino has already directed the province’s health department to boost its dengue prevention and control mechanism.
A roving medical, dental and health promotions advocacy, the Kalusugan Karaban — facilitated by the PHO — since its launching in 2016 has had included in its program the anti-dengue information drive and the distribution of insecticide-treated nets which are used as curtains for the windows of various schools, and households. So far, the Kalusugan Karaban has served 892 barangays clustered in 223 barangays that were visited by the mobile health program.
This is on top of the other efforts of the province’s health department to educate Pangasinenses on dengue prevention and control.
Gov. Espino has instructed the PHO to further intensify the anti-dengue drive especially in localities with the highest density of dengue cases.
The DOH regional director reiterated the need to strengthen dengue prevention and control programs in schools to lessen the number of dengue cases in the 5-9 age group.
Of the total 3,122 dengue cases in Pangasinan, the said age group is the most affected with 681 cases or 21.8 percent, followed by the 10-14 age group (636) and 15-19 age group (525).
Of the total dengue cases in the province, 53.8 percent or 1,680 represents the male population while 53.1 percent or 1,442 represents the female population.
Lopez advises Pangasinenses to be extra cautious during the rainy season. “Dengue is carried and transmitted by a mosquito called aedes aegypti. The virus is taken from a dengue infected patient to another,” he said.
After transmission, the virus will develop in the mosquito for about eight to 10 days. After the said period, the mosquito can now spread the dengue virus.
“After the second day of not feeling well, please seek consultation to a health expert to rule out the cause of the underlying health condition” said Lopez.
/Mark Gerry Naval Oblanca