Dengue outbreak declared in Zambo PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 11 May 2012 13:32

The City Government has declared a dengue outbreak in Zamboanga in the wake of rising dengue incidences that have reached 774 cases with 9 fatalities from January 1 to April 30.

Mayor Celso Lobregat said records from the City Health Office showed that dengue cases have reached outbreak level in April requiring urgent and uninterrupted measures to search and destroy breeding places of dengue carrier mosquitoes. 

Outbreak threshold for April is 225 cases but actual reported cases for the period in Zamboanga have reached 234.

The barangays with the most number of dengue cases reported are Guiwan-51; Canelar- 31, Tugbungan-57; Tumaga- 63 and San Roque 47. Other hard hit barangays are Zambowood, Cabatangan, Sta. Maria, Putik, Mercedes, Sangali, Maasin, Divisoria, Pasobolong, Lumbangan, Rio Hondo and Tetuan.

The declaration was made in a press conference early Wednesday night which  the chief executive presided together with City Health Officer Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, Dr. Joshua Brillantes of the Regional Health Office, and Dr. Dulce Dagalea and Dr. Usman of the CHO’s Epidemiology Surveillance Unit at the City Hall conference room.

In view of this, Mayor Lobregat has authorized the release of over half a million pesos from the emergency funds to purchase larvicides and other chemicals that will be used in the war against the mosquito-borne disease.

At the same time, the chief executive has advised Dr. Agbulos to cancel all applications for leave of absence by CHO personnel in view of the situation.

“We need all hands on deck to fight this war against dengue and we hope with everybody’s cooperation, we can win this war”, the mayor stated. He likewise called on the constituents to do their share and intensify clean up drives to get rid of the dengue carrier larvae.

Dr. Agbulos said the basic and primary thing to do in cases like this is the massive and simultaneous cleanup activity and emphasized that the cooperation of everybody including the media is very essential.

The CHO is set to carry out a comprehensive plan in cooperation with the barangays, other health agencies and facilities and especially the community to ensure an effective and efficient anti-dengue campaign. A citywide clean up drive is set tomorrow, May 12.

Dr. Agbulos said the city government, the CHO and the barangay officials cannot do the work alone but would require the help, support and cooperation of each and every household.

Lobregat re-echoed Dr. Agbulos’ appeal stressing that the whole community should and must join forces to fight the war against dengue. “We are appealing to everybody to clean their individual homes, communities and barangays to eliminate breeding places of dengue-carrier mosquitoes.”

Potential breeding sites of the dengue carrier larvae are buckets of clean and stagnant water, flower vases, plants like bromeliads, gutters, tires and dark areas and many others. One way to get rid of the dengue-carrier larvae is to put a sizeable amount of salt on stagnant water.

Mayor Lobregat likewise appealed for people to donate blood with the Philippine Red Cross as dengue cases requires continuous stream of blood donations.

“We have to unite and join together. Let us act now with a sense of urgency and try to eliminate these breeding places through the search and destroy drives,” he added. 

Dengue hemorrhagic fever is an acute infectious disease manifested initially with fever. Aedes aegypti, the transmitter of the disease, is a day-biting mosquito which lays eggs in clear and stagnant water found in flower vases, cans, rain barrels and old rubber tires among others. The adult mosquitoes rest in dark places of the house. — Sheila Covarrubias