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The Department of Health (DOH) 7 has recorded a 167 percent increase in dengue cases in Central Visayas from January to October this year compared to the same period last year.

Central Visayas comprises the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor.

According to the latest Regional Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (Resu) 7 report, a total of 11,064 cases with 49 deaths, or a case fatality rate of 0.4 percent, were recorded in the region from Jan. 1 to Oct. 20, 2012.

The figures are higher compared to the same period last year, with 4,200 cases, 22 deaths and a case fatality rate of 0.5 percent.

Intermittent rains, lack of sustainable efforts to eliminate mosquito breeding places and improper waste disposal are the factors that could have led to the increase in dengue cases, regional epidemiologist Rennan Cimafranca said.

He said the latest report is close to the number of cases recorded in 2010 of 15,000.

”We were expecting an increase in cases this year but not this high,” he said.

The youngest patient is one month old while the oldest is 95 years old. The age group most affected is from 6 to 10 years old.

Cebu City has the highest number of cases with 4,241 cases and 13 deaths, followed by Lapu-Lapu City with 895 cases and eight deaths and Dumaguete City in Negros Oriental Province with 598 cases and four deaths.

Dengue fever is a disease caused by any one of four closely related dengue viruses, which is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito.

The symptoms of dengue fever include high fever, headache, joint pain, rash and mild bleeding.

Cimafranca said there are several factors that may have contributed to the increase in the number of cases this year, which include complacency.

”The people may have become complacent whenever the number of cases decreases. They should continue to clean their surroundings. If there is no stagnant water, there is minimal number of mosquitoes,” he added.

Improper waste disposal of plastic cups, or styropor containers, is also a factor as these could serve as mosquito-breeding places. - PNA

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