The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reported a total of 22,903 dengue cases from January to May 7 this year or an eight percent increase compared to the same period in 2010 and clustering of cases in Metro Manila and 17 other areas in the country.
The DOH defines clustering as increase of three or more of dengue cases in four weeks.
Health Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa said most of the dengue cases came from the National Capital Region with 6,732; Central Luzon, 4,181; and CALABARZON, 3,555.
At the National Capital Region, Herboza said Quezon City had the most number of cases with 1,694 followed by Manila with 824; Kalookan City, 775; Pasig, 592; Valenzuela, 466; and Paranaque City, 407.
According to the health official, the clustering of dengue cases in Metro Manila are in Kalookan, Makati, Muntinlupa, Navotas, Paranaque, Quezon City and Valenzuela.
He said the clustering of cases were also observed in some parts of La Union, Pangasinan, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Batangas, Laguna, Rizal, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Zamboanga del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Davao City, General Santos City, South Cotabato, and Kalinga.
Herboza however said reported dengue deaths during the first four months of 2011 of 141 is lower by .76 percent than the 161 of the same period last year.
With this development, the DOH has renewed its call to the public to continue on destroying mosquito breeding sites and other anti-dengue efforts to fight this viral disease, particularly during the rainy months.
Noting that it is the children who are at risks especially with the school opening, Herbosa called on the public to do the usual 4S Kontra Dengue strategy — Search and Destroy, Seek early consultation, Self-protective measures and Say no to indiscriminate fogging.
“The people, especially school-children, can protect themselves from day bites by using topical insect repellents or by wearing long-sleeved shirts,” Herbosa said.
“Dengue is an urban disease or found in urban areas whether one lives in slum or posh subdivisions,” he said, noting that DOH records show that most cases belonged to the one to 10 years of age group.
Likewise, he advised the public to destroy all possible mosquito breeding sites like old tires and tin cans, clean roof gutters, replace water in flower vases regularly, and use mosquito nets or protective clothings.
Aedes Aegyti mosquito, the dengue carrier, can breed even in a very small receptacles like coconut husks or empty bottles.
Herbosa said the DOH-Center for Health Development is coordinating with local government units to encourage them to conduct a simultaneous activity or adopting the department’s 4S Kontra Dengue strategy.
The DOH will observe Dengue Awareness Month in June with this year’s theme ” Eskwelahan, Simbahan, Barangay, Palengke at Buong Komunidad, Sama-Sama Nating Sugpuin ang Dengue.” (PNA)