LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 27 (PNA) -- Health authorities in Albay are on heightened alert following the surge in dengue cases by over 600 percent, with one death during the past two months of the year, the Albay Provincial Health Office said Wednesday.
A PHO surveillance team reported that 308 people fell ill of the mosquito-borne disease from January to February 27 this year, 684 percent higher than the 45 cases reported during the same period last year, Dr. Nathaniel Rempillo, assistant provincial health officer, said.
The first dengue casualty this year was a six-year-old girl form Tabaco City.
Provincial epidemiology data showed that among the 15 towns and three cities in Albay, Ligao City had the highest number of cases with 112; followed by Legazpi City with 77 cases; Tabaco City, 33; Daraga and Guinobatan town, 24 each, and Camalig, 11.
Oas had six; Polangui and Sto. Domingo had five each; Manito and Pio Duran, three each; while the towns of Bacacay, Jovellar, Libon, Tiwi and Rapu-Rapu, one each.
Rempillo said that of the 15 towns and three cities in Albay, only the towns of Malilipot and Malinao had no reported dengue cases.
He said the factor that triggered the increasing trend in dengue cases was the presence of rain that had prevailed since January.
He said mosquito thrives and breeds in water-filled containers, and flower pots.
Last year, five persons died due to dengue while 1,477 people fell ill of the mosquito-borne disease.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol reported that during the period January to February 27 this year, at least 522 dengue cases were reported by various provincial health offices in Bicol.
Albay had 308 cases; followed by Camarines Sur with 92; Catanduanes, 68; Sorsogon, 27; Masbate, 23, and Camarines Norte, four cases.
Jaime Guerrero, DOH Bicol public information officer, said the agency has dispatched six provincial health teams (PHT) to closely coordinate with local chief executives and local health officers for the possible clustering of dengue cases and to take appropriate intervention to control the surge of the mosquito borne disease in villages.
Guerrero said at least three villages in Virac town and a village in Ligao City are being closely monitored.
He dismissed speculations of a dengue outbreak, saying there are no identified parameters yet for the agency to declare an outbreak.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne disease transmitted by Aedes mosquito infected with any one of the four dengue viruses.
Symptoms appear 3-14 days after the infective bite.
Dengue fever is a febrile illness that affects infants, young children and adults.
Symptoms range from a mild fever to incapacitating high fever, with severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, and rash. (PNA) LAP/FGS/MSA/CBD/ABB