DAVAO CITY (MindaNews) – While dengue outbreaks have been recorded in other parts of the country, Davao City recorded a 40-percent drop with 2,874 cases and four deaths from January to September this year as compared to 4,000 cases with 36 deaths for the same period last year.
During the iSpeak Forum on Thursday, Elizabeth Banzon, section chief of the City Health Office’s (CHO) Tropical Disease Control, attributed the decrease to the agency’s massive information drive that involves the collaboration of the barangays in a bid to curb the dengue cases here.
“Here in Davao City, we never stop our campaign against dengue,” she said.
The CHO has been conducting a house-to-house inspection to educate the households on the possible breeding sites of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes, from as simple as crowns of bottled drinks to containers, and other sites where water can accumulate.
The official said residents should be proactive enough to monitor if the water tanks have been infested with mosquito larvae because this major drop may not be sustained if they don’t take measures to control its population.
“If they see a drum infested with larvae, they should throw the water out right away and thoroughly brush the inside of the drum because the eggs that adhere may hatch the larvae,” Banzon explained.
Each mosquito usually has a lifespan of one month.
She also noticed that residents now, most especially in areas identified as hotspots, would report immediately to hospitals if a family member exhibits symptoms of dengue.
This is necessary to break the chain because once the mosquito bites the patient who is infected with dengue, the mosquito becomes a carrier itself.
Among the symptoms include severe joint and muscle pain, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fever, exhaustion, and rash.
The interventions of the CHO and the Department of Health (DOH) are the distribution of free Olyset-treated curtains and ovicidal-larvicidal (OL) traps.
These methods, however, are effective only up to a certain extent. The Olyset-treated curtains can be effective only if mosquitos make contact with them while the OL traps have to be monitored weekly or they will be a potential breeding site after the effectivity of its chemical, Sumilarv, wears off in a month.
The CHO conducts fogging in an area where there is a reported dengue case. Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews