Mayor Armando Quibod of Makilala town in North Cotabato ordered Wednesday the municipal health office to “put a stop” on the rising number of dengue cases in one of the town’s evacuation centers.
Quibod was alarmed after receiving reports that 33 patients, including minors and adults, have been infected by the mosquito-borne disease in an evacuation center in Barangay Luna Norte.
At least 150 families displaced by the series of earthquakes last year remained inside the village’s public school compound.
“These families were from the nearby village of Bato, one of the hardest-hit by the quakes in October and November last year,” the mayor said over a local radio interview Wednesday.
In a separate radio interview, Gemma Gonzales, a 30-year-old evacuee, said his 10-year-old boy experienced fever and skin rashes on Tuesday and is now undergoing medication.
A report received by the mayor from village health worker Norma Bayaan indicated that out of 33 patients recorded in one day, only 19 agreed to be treated in the hospital.
Bayaan said some resorted to the traditional method of treatment by using herbs, root crops, and fruits with apparent medicinal effects.
Local health workers on Wednesday morning conducted fogging operations to eliminate the dengue-carrying mosquitoes in different evacuation sites of the town.
Two dengue patients, a minor and a senior citizen, died in the Makilala evacuation sites from January to June 30 this year, according to the records of the North Cotabato Provincial Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (PESU).
Quibod has urged his constituents, especially those in high-risk areas like evacuation sites to practice the Department of Health’s 4S’ dengue prevention campaign.
Since January, the Integrated Provincial Health Office has been calling for active community support in its intensified campaign against dengue as it noted rising cases in the province.
As of June 30, the IPHO has recorded 407 dengue cases with three deaths from the towns of Makilala and M’lang.
Board Member Philbert Malaluan, chair of the provincial council’s committee on health and sanitation, said that although the cases of dengue in the province have not reached the epidemic threshold, the provincial government is applying precautionary measures to suppress the spread of the deadly disease.
He noted that dengue and the coronavirus disease 2019 (Civd-19) are difficult to distinguish because they both share the same clinical laboratory characteristics.
However, unlike Covid-19, dengue virus cannot be transmitted through human contact but through bites of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that usually breed around human dwellings and lay eggs in both clean and stagnant water.
Data from PESU showed that of the total 407 recorded dengue cases, Matalam town has the highest number at 42, followed by Libungan and Kidapawan City with 40 cases each. (PNA)