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DOH-10 urges LGUs to intensify tracking of dengue, measles, chikungunya virus

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Central Mindanao Newswatch - local newspaper

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CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (March 29, 2024/PIA) – The Department of Health (DOH)-10 urges LGUs to ramp up the surveillance of dengue, measles, and chikungunya virus after cases soared from January to March

During the Northern Mindanao Disaster Risk Reduction Management 1st Quarter Full Council meeting, DOH reported that dengue, measles, and chikungunya had increased compared to the same months last year.

Its current data showed a 34.27 percent increase in dengue cases, from 3,032 to 4,071. Measles cases surged by 94.33 percent, from 53 to 103. Chikungunya cases spiked from 7 to 89, marking a staggering 1,171.43 percent rise.

Dengue and chikungunya cases

The disease surveillance data showed that Bukidnon has the most dengue cases in Northern Mindanao, with 1,121 cases (959 admissions with 153 confirmed cases); Misamis Oriental has 845 cases (591 admissions, 79 confirmed); Lanao del Norte reported 574 cases (450 admissions, 115 confirmed); Iligan City reported 319 cases (310 admissions, 114 confirmed); Cagayan de Oro City reported 222 cases (207 admissions, 6 confirmed); and Camiguin reported 89 cases (81 admitted and 47 confirmed).

Bukidnon reported the most dengue-related deaths (19), followed by Misamis Occidental (4), Misamis Oriental (3), Lanao del Norte (4), Iligan City (1), Cagayan de Oro City (2), and Camiguin (1).

Chikungunya, another mosquito-borne viral illness transmitted by the same Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitos that carry dengue and Zika, has significantly increased. Misamis Oriental leads the list with 50 cases, followed by Misamis Occidental (18), Bukidnon (12), Camiguin (4), Iligan City (4), and Cagayan de Oro City (1).

Measles cases surveillance

DOH-10 intensifies measles cases surveillance following the disease surge in a neighboring province. The tracking team reported 103 infected children aged 1 to 5. Lanao del Norte has 58 cases (54 hospitalized), followed by Misamis Oriental (14 cases, 11 hospitalized), Cagayan de Oro City (8 cases, 3 hospitalized), Bukidnon (8 cases), Iligan City (7 cases, 5 hospitalized), Misamis Occidental (6 cases, 3 hospitalized), and Camiguin (2 cases, 1 hospitalized).

“The sudden rise in measles cases can be attributed to children’s failure to receive vaccinations,” according to DOH-10 nurse Iris Christine Torralba.

She said COVID-19 disrupted vaccinations as the ‘No Vaccine, No Entry’ policy caused delays. Now, Lanao del Norte faces a measles surge. DOH-10 mobilized an outbreak team to Balo-i and Amai Pakpak Medical Center to stop the spread.

In addition to the response team, resources like viral transport media (VTM) and vaccines were strategically placed and boosted in LDN.

The DOH-10 coordinated with the integrated provincial health offices of Lanao del Sur and Marawi City. It collaborated with national immunization program coordinators to conduct outbreak response immunization in high-case areas.

“The regional office collects data from local government units (LGUs), contributing to our generated data. We are approaching the epidemic threshold and have advised LGUs to enhance their surveillance systems in recent weeks,” DOH-10 Regional Director Sulpicio Henry Legaspi said.

He recommended that local governments monitor movements, particularly in Balo-i, the epicenter of the measles outbreak, because 92 percent of recorded cases include unvaccinated or under-immunized children, indicating the need for focused immunization activities in high-case areas.

Legaspi said the DOH-10 is coordinating with Lanao del Sur to monitor Marawi City due to high population mobility, saying there is a risk of measles spreading to Iligan City and Cagayan de Oro City due to its contagious nature.

“We have enough vaccine supply and await the request for additional health workers needed for outbreak response immunization,” he clarified.

The health department assures the public they are addressing the situation, collaborating with LGUs to intensify measles case monitoring and urging parents to vaccinate children aged 0-59 months against measles and other diseases. (Jan Albert K. Araña/PIA10)

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