For those living in Cebu, dengue has been a serious threat for years. This calendar year of 2010 has been the worst in history. Living any place in the Philippines puts you at risk. In this article, I will focus on dengue in Cebu.
So far this year there have been 14,202 cases of dengue in Cebu. That is an increase of 121 percent over the same period last year.
There have also been 110 deaths reported this year. That compares to 76 deaths for the same
period last year. Deaths had been lagging behind but they seem to have caught up and passed the old mark now. The percentage of deaths does still appear to be down.
Dengue is spread through one type of mosquito. One usually gets a red rash and fever. There is fatigue. Many cases are mild and go unreported. Severe cases lead to hemorrhage and death.
The best defense is to cut your exposure. Sleeping with in an air conditioned room is said to greatly reduce your risk. Without that, screens on the windows and mosquito nets are a good idea. I’ve never seen anyone use a net though.
The authorities often call on the citizens to keep the area clear of anything that will collect water. A good idea but that alone is not enough in a tropical rain forest. There will always be places for the pest to breed. Still the fewer places the better. I don’t want them around my house!
Many say this increase is a result of global warming. I think it may be part of it but its not the entire reason. Illnesses of all types like this seem to have their cycles. There was a drought last year. That should have reduced the number of cases. I don’t know if cases were down last year. I do know that this year is breaking all previous records.
Cebu City itself has the highest number of cases. The City of Cebu distributed nets to at least two elementary schools this week. The nets were said to have been treated with insect repellent too.
Children and the elderly are the most likely to become seriously ill from the disease. Those with compromised immune systems like lupus are also more at risk of complications.
Early this year, the Department of Health (DOH) changed its guidelines on hospitalizations because the hospitals were over run with patients. Fewer patients were kept in the hospital and treated at home.
No matter where you live in the Philippines, dengue will be a concern. It is not just the Philippines. All of Asia is under threat. The tropical areas are of course hit the worst as there are no freezes to kill off the mosquitoes.
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