Ilocos Norte steps up preventive measures vs dengue

LAOAG CITY — Alarmed by the increase of dengue-related deaths throughout the country, the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) through the Provincial Health Office (PHO) distributed Dengue NS1Ag, an early dengue diagnostic predictor, larvicides, and insecticides, as preventive measure for possible outbreak, to different rural health units and district hospitals in the province.

This is in response to the “National Health Emergency” declaration of the Department of Health (DOH) on July 20 following the deaths of at least 491 people due to the mosquito-borne disease.

Last July 15, the Ilocos Region was among those being closely monitored by the DOH for exceeding the dengue alert threshold.

As of July 3, there are 353 cases with zero death reported in Ilocos Norte, alone—an 18.9% increase compared to last year’s record. DOH clarified that the alleged outbreak in the Ilocos province were confined to specific barangays only and not the whole province.

Most of the cases came from Laoag City (94), Badoc (43), Batac City (29), Pagudpud (21), and Dingras (20).

According to Dr. Josephine Ruedas, Officer-in-Charge of the PHO, there are still patients confined at the Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital (7), Doña Josefa Edralin Marcos District Hospital (2), Dingras District Hospital (4), Bangui District Hospital (4).

Moreover, PHO organized a meeting with the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) attended by Rural Health Sanitary Inspectors, Provincial Epidemiology Surveillance Unit staff and Provincial DOH Office staff.

Dr. Rosario Pamintuan, RESU Head, emphasized on the importance of “information dissemination and surveillance” to combat dengue.

As part of its information dissemination campaign, the DOH stresses on its 4-S strategy: “Search and destroy” mosquito-breeding sites, employ “Self-protection measures”), “Seek early consultation”, and “Support fogging/spraying” only in hotspot areas where increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an impending outbreak.

PHO also lent fogging machines to various cities and municipalities, further strengthening the province’s preventive measures against dengue outbreak.