As the rainy season comes, there is no time like the present to raise the warning of dengue as a health concern.
Young children start trooping to schools and become vulnerable to the dengue- bearing mosquito. The Island Garden City of Samal reported incidents of dengue increased to 730% (249 cases) compared to last year’s figures. This is alarming and requires the cooperation of all sectors to curb the outbreak.
The World Health Organization noted dengue cases in the world has dramatically increased, particularly in Asia. Based on its recent estimate, “(there were about) 390 million dengue infections per year (95% credible interval 284–528 million), of which 96 million (67–136 million) manifest clinically (with any severity of disease). Another study, of the prevalence of dengue, estimates that 3900 million people, in 128 countries, are at risk of infection with dengue viruses.”
The report said the dengue carrier, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which incubates in less than two weeks, “lives in urban habitats and breeds mostly in man-made containers. Unlike other mosquitoes Aedes aegypti is a day-time feeder; its peak biting periods are early in the morning and in the evening before dusk. Female Ae. aegypti bites multiple people during each feeding period.”
Both the city government and the Department of Health have raised caution on the possibility of children getting afflicted by the illness.
To be able to reduce the number – as totally eliminating the illness may be next to impossible – there is a need to mobilize the entire community, not just the schools and the homes. This can be done if people will become extra vigilant to ensure that places where mosquitos breed would be cleaned.
As always, prevention is better than cure.