Officials with the Zamboanga del Norte Provincial Health Office (PHO) report dengue fever cases are up this year, particularly in past months since the onset of the rainy season.
According to health data, for the period of January to September 4, a total of 2,413 dengue cases were recorded by the Provincial Department of Health Office (PDOHO). This is a notable increase as compared to the 2,386 recorded cases in all of 2022.
In addition, the number of dengue deaths are at 13 year to date, higher than the 10 deaths recorded in the previous year.
Sindangan and Dipolog City have seen the most cases in the province with 551 and 384 cases, respectively.
The increase of dengue in the province has prompted officials to urge the public to practice the “4 o’clock habit” at home and in the communities on a daily basis to prevent cases of dengue from rising.
The 4 o’clock habit is primarily focused on “searching and destroying” mosquitoes’ breeding places like stagnant water, and clearing corners of unused containers, receptacles, bottles, tires, piles of leaves, and other accumulated waste that cause the dengue plague.
Dengue is a disease caused by a virus spread through mosquito bites. The disease can take up to 2 weeks to develop with illness generally lasting less than a week.
Health effects from dengue include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, muscle and joint pain, and minor bleeding.
Dengue can become severe within a few hours. Severe dengue is a medical emergency, usually requiring hospitalization.
In severe cases, health effects can include hemorrhage (uncontrolled bleeding), shock (seriously low blood pressure), organ failure, and death.