Dengue outbreak declared in Bohol villages

By Kit Bagaipo
Visayas Bureau
Last updated 04:36pm (Mla time) 07/27/2007

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, Philippines — The Department of Health (DoH) regional office declared a dengue outbreak on Friday in two city villages even as dengue patients crowded hospitals here.


The DoH regional office declared that the villages of Cogon and Dao in Tagbilaran City have a dengue outbreak based on the recommendation of Tagbilaran City health officer Dr. Antonio Porticos.


DoH Central Visayas regional director Susanna Madarieta said an outbreak was declared in the two villages due to the rapid upsurge in the number of victims compared to the previous months.


The health department recorded 54 dengue cases in Cogon and 48 in Dao since January.


As of Friday morning, the DoH reported 512 dengue cases in the province, with 10 casualties since January.


Provincial health officer Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot said 208 of the 512 dengue cases come from Tagbilaran, the capital of the island province of Bohol. The DoH also declared the towns of Jagna and Dauis as dengue “hot spots.”


For the month of July alone, the DoH recorded 142 dengue cases on the island, more than half of the dengue cases reported in the province for the entire 2006.


Last year, the provincial health office recorded 268 dengue cases in Bohol. This figure has already been surpassed halfway through this year.


But the figure could be much higher, said Cabagnot, noting that records were based only on hospital admittances.


With the upsurge in dengue cases, six private hospitals have refused to admit dengue-related patients.


This prompted the Governor Celestino Gallares Regional Hospital in Tagbilaran City to set-up a “dengue fastlane” to provide emergency treatment, especially those coming from outside Tagbilaran City.


Madarieta said the capability of rural health units of Bohol’s 47 municipalities and the 11 government-run district hospitals to provide primary treatment for dengue fever is being assessed.


She also noted that rural health units could immediately respond to dengue victims if trained to perform blood screening and obtain the hematocrit or platelet count.


Under the “fastlane” management, patients with fever and suspected of having dengue can be given emergency treatment. The blood sample is obtained to establish baseline data.


Cabagnot said all district hospitals in Bohol could provide emergency treatment for dengue fever.


However, blood screening for transfusions and blood separators is not available in some of the government hospitals in the towns, he said.


Dengue “fastlanes” will also be set up in the 11 district medical facilities to decongest the city hospitals, Cabagnot added.


The last two dengue fatalities, Giselle Cutamora, 8, and Elaizah Janelle Requina 6 months, both from Tagbilaran City, were refused admittance to the hospitals due to crowded rooms.


A dengue patient need not be admitted to the hospital, according to Cabagnot, as long as primary medical treatment is given and the patient’s condition stabilizes before the dengue-shock syndrome occurs.

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