Health authorities in Bato town went on high alert against dengue recently after a clustering of cases was detected in a población barangay, just as the total cases in Catanduanes increased to 152.
Information reaching the Tribune stated that on June 29, 2022 the Bato Rural Health Unit (RHU) was informed that two of its residents were admitted at a Virac hospital two days earlier due to possible dengue fever.
The two patients, who are fraternal twins aged three years old, are residing in San Juan street in barangay Ilawod Poblacion together with their parents and grandparents, the report said.
One of them developed high-grade fever on June 22 which lasted for five days and on June 27 he was brought to the hospital for headache but already without fever.
He tested positive for dengue and was found to have a moderately low plate count of 200.
As the boy was on intravenous fluid and electrolytes, his twin began developing fever and was brought to the hospital the next day where he also tested positive for dengue with a very low platelet count of 100.
The twin soon experienced stomach pain, diarrhea and chills with fever.
Fortunately, the brothers recovered and were discharged after five days of confinement.
The clustering of dengue cases in the barangay was further confirmed when on June 30, a 38-year old resident of the same street was admitted at another Virac hospital and tested positive for dengue.
The report said that she developed fever on June 25 that went on for four days, followed by bleeding in the nose, prompting her confinement.
The patient recovered from a very low platelet count and went back to her home on July 2.
Alerted by the Provincial Health Office, the Bato RHU immediately conducted case investigation and inspected the barangay’s environs, followed by a meeting with the barangay council.
An information and education campaign on dengue was conducted by the RHU among the purok residents, who later cooperated with the barangay officials in conducting a cleanup drive in every household, including fogging.
In addition, barangay health workers and the nurse assigned to the barangay were reminded to monitor early signs of dengue among residents.
The three clustered cases in Bato town brought the total number of cases in the province to 150 as of the end of June 2022.
According to a report from the PHO provided by Health Education Promotion Officer II Ma. Daisy Flores, dengue cases in the month of June totaled 38, just one more than the 37 tallied ion each of the previous months of April and May.
The total number of dengue cases for the 2nd quarter of 112 is nearly three times the 39 recorded for the first three months of the year, the data showed.
Of the 152 cases as of mid-2022, Virac accounts for just over 60 percent with 94 cases, followed by San Andres with 22, Bato with 11, San Miguel with eight, Viga and Baras with four each, Caramoran and Gigmoto with three each, Bagamanoc with two, Pandan with one, and Panganiban with not one case so far.
Despite the big number of cases in the capital town and its neighboring municipality, local health authorities said that these were isolated cases and no clustering was noted.
Dengue or dengue fever is a mosquito-borne illness that causes a high fever and flu-like symptoms in mild cases.
In severe cases, patients experience belly pain, vomiting, bleeding from the nose or gums, and a sharp drop in an infected person’s platelet count that could lead to death.
The rising cases of dengue in Bicol has prompted the Department of Health to call on the public to follow the “4S” protocol against dengue as the Bicol region logged a total of 398 cases from Jan. 1 to May 21, 2022.
The “4S” which stands for search and destruction of mosquito-breeding sites; self-protection measures by wearing long pants and sleeves; seeking early consultation; and support for fogging or spraying.
It also urged residents to observe the 4 o’clock habit to search and destroy breeding places of mosquitoes inside their homes, workplaces or schools.
Local government units have been urged to follow and implement policies and procedures to prevent the spread of dengue.
Dengue fever is an infection caused by a virus carried by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, with the four types capable of inducing fever as well as fever with bleeding or dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Among the symptoms of dengue are the sudden onset of fever, splitting headache, pain at the back of the eyes, body and muscle pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and skin rash. Dengue could lead to death if not treated early.