A grade schooler in Virac succumbed to complications brought by dengue fever last week as the tally of new COVID-19 cases in July reached 108.
The Provincial Health Office has yet to issue an official report on the first dengue fatality in the island this year as the investigation into matter was still ongoing as of Friday, July 29, 2022.
A source said that health officials were caught by the surprise as the mosquito-borne disease’s latest victim, as well his sibling, was not reported to the concerned authorities.
It is claimed that the elder sibling was the first to exhibit symptoms and was brought to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Hospital where it was initially treated before the handling physician, in consultation with the parents, decided to bring her to a health facility in Legazpi City.
A few days later, the younger brother also fell ill and brought to IHMH where he died last week reportedly from a deadlier strain of dengue.
The siblings’ home is in barangay Constantino where the local health authorities converged last week to inspect the surroundings for mosquito breeding places and eradicate them.
The unfortunate development comes just a month after a clustering of cases was detected in a población barangay in Bato town.
In the last week of June, the Bato Rural Health Unit (RHU) was informed that two of its residents were admitted at a Virac hospital due to possible dengue fever.
The two patients, who are fraternal twins aged three years old, were residents of barangay Ilawod Poblacion together with their parents and grandparents, the report said.
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.
All three cases, however, eventually recovered from the ailment.
Alerted by the Provincial Health Office, Mayor Juan Rodulfo immediately ordered the Bato RHU to conduct a case investigation and inspect the barangay’s environs.
An information and education campaign on dengue was conducted among the purok residents, who later cooperated with the barangay officials in conducting a cleanup drive in every household, including fogging.
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 has logged a total of 896 cases from Jan. 1 to July 16, 2022, with nearly 500 of them recorded in the last seven weeks.
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.