TAGBILARAN CITY, Philippines — Health officials continued to discourage indiscriminate fogging to combat the spread of dengue, saying it was not effective in the fight against the deadly mosquito-borne disease.
Dr. Joseph Tagle, regional coordinator of the Department of Health (DoH), pointed to the “Four S” as the best strategy: search and destroy mosquito breeding sites, self protection measures like using mosquito nets, seeking early treatment, and saying no to indiscriminate fogging.
Fogging, he said, should be done only in case of a confirmed outbreak of the disease.
Regional health teams, led by Tagle and Dr. Expedito Medalla, were in Bohol to help disseminate information on how to fight dengue. The number of dengue cases in the province continues to rise.
Health officials, however, said there was no need to declare an outbreak in island province of Bohol.
Tagle said DoH studies showed that fogging was not effective against dengue.
In some instances, Tagle said, fogging even led to an increase in the number of dengue cases.
He said after the capital city of Tagbilaran, the regional DoH team would proceed to the towns of Dauis and Jagna where the number of dengue cases was also high.
Tagbilaran has a total of 180 cases; Jagna reported 40 cases while Dauis has 37 cases since January.
Since July 1, the provincial health office confirmed 65 cases province-wide.
Tagle said while there was no outbreak, a high level of alert was raised in Bohol and it was now being watched as a dengue “hot spot.”
The number of people struck by dengue, however, could be higher as provincial health authorities relied only on hospital records for their data.
On Medalla’s urging, village captains and health authorities in the city agreed in an emergency meeting Wednesday to create dengue brigades and to activate the Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams.
They are tasked to launch a massive information drive and act as search and destroy teams in eliminating breeding grounds of the dengue-carrying aedes aegypti mosquito.