LEGAZPI CITY – A significant 72 percent drop in dengue cases in Bicol was recorded as of August this year, the Department of Health- Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) for Bicol said on Thursday.

In an advisory, the agency said a report of the Dengue Surveillance Units of the six provinces of Bicol covering the period from January to August this year showed a total of 1,271 cases and 12 deaths, lower than the 4,596 cases and 48 deaths recorded during the same period last year.

Camarines Sur has the highest number of dengue cases with 612 and three deaths; followed by Sorsogon with 241 cases and three deaths; Camarines Norte with 153 cases and two deaths; Albay with 112 cases and four deaths; Masbate with 110 cases; Catanduanes with 39 cases, and others, four cases (transients).

The DOH-CHD Bicol is urging all Bicolanos to follow the 4S, (Search and Destroy, Self-Protection Measures, Seek Early Consultation, and Say Yes to fogging when there is an impending outbreak).

“Search and Destroy means identifying and removing all possible mosquito breeding sites in the surroundings. These are empty cans, jars, bottles, tires or any items that store water. However, items such as water drums and pails for home use must be covered, water in vases should be replaced every once a week, walls scrubbed thoroughly and gutters cleared from leaves and debris properly disposed (of),” the advisory said.

Self-Protection measures include wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Further, correctly applying mosquito repellents may prove to be effective.

It is important to Seek Early Consultation when one experiences a sudden onset of fever, accompanied with skin rashes, nausea or vomiting, joint and muscle pain, and with mild bleeding, and other symptoms associated with dengue.

During the Covid-19 pandemic, DOH Bicol is reminding the public that there are other illnesses and diseases that people may be at risk of contracting.

Good health, right information about the disease, and knowing how to prevent its spread is our best defense, it added. (PNA / Connie Calipay)