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22 deaths recorded as dengue cases soar by 177% in Cagayan Valley

CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela—At least 22 deaths have been recorded as the number of suspected dengue cases surges by 177 percent in Cagayan Valley from January to June this year, prompting massive information and cleanup drives throughout the region.

Doctor Rio Magpantay, Cagayan Valley regional health director, said the number of dengue cases surges from 2,254  last year to 6,233 in the same period this year based on records from the DOH-Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit.

Out of the 22 deaths reported, 17 were probable and five were suspected cases, Magpantay added.

Cagayan —the hub of regional-based hospitals such as Cagayan Valley Medical Center —has registered 2,570 cases, Isabela with 2,527,  Quirino 638, and Nueva Vizcaya 492.

Batanes, earlier declared a dengue-free province, has six reported cases.

Due to resurgence of dengue cases, Magpantay has ordered health officials to sustain anti-dengue information drives and cleanup activities.

Cleanup drive activities include tree pruning or trimming, road and canal cleaning operations, including de-clogging of canals and waterways to eliminate obstructions that cause flooding and power supply interruptions during heavy storms, preparation of evacuation centers, and inspection of buildings and public infrastructure.

Also being done are fogging operations, cleanup of surroundings and buildings, destruction of dengue mosquito breeding sites, and elimination of bromeliad and other ornamental plants that store water in their stems and leaves and other anti-dengue activities.

Information dissemination drive such as public lectures and youth trainings to enhance learning and understanding about disaster risk and equip residents with knowledge and information that will help them fight dengue, mitigate typhoon impact, and appreciate the value of blood donation.

Health officials said dengue is caused by any of the four stereotypes of dengue virus which an infected day-biting female aedes mosquito transmits the viral disease to humans.

Dengue fever cases rapidly hike during rainy days as breeding grounds of female mosquitoes abound such as on stagnant water containers and tires, Magpantay said. Due to the dengue hike cases, villagers in Baculod in Isabela have been priming up in clean-up drives. —LBG, GMA News