PREVENTIVE MEASURE. The City Health Office of Zamboanga conducts fogging operations amid rising dengue cases in this March 13, 2022 Facebook post. An outbreak was officially declared on Friday (April 8, 2022). (Photo courtesy of City Government of Zamboanga Facebook)

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said it is closely monitoring and coordinating a response to the outbreak of dengue cases in Region 9 through the Center for Health Development of Zamboanga and its Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit.

This, after Zamboanga City's disaster risk reduction council declared an outbreak as the area recorded 893 dengue cases with 11 deaths from January 1 to April 2.

The city's mayor has directed the reactivation of the dengue preparedness plan and task force based on the 2019 dengue outbreak response - the year the country last declared the disease an epidemic.

In a statement, the DOH said it is implementing protocols according to the most recent available epidemiologic data together with the local government units.

"These include dengue preventive measures meant to stop the disease vector, which is the Aedes aegypti mosquito," it said. "The public is being advised as to the risks, and what actions they can do to protect against the disease."

To accommodate those who will get sick, dengue fast lanes and separate rooms have been established in the hospitals in the area.

Insecticide-treated curtains and screens are likewise being used in health facilities of the region.

The DOH called on the public to be vigilant and take extra care with ensuring a clean and dry household vicinity to prevent possible breeding grounds of these mosquitos.

The public is further advised to follow the 4S against Dengue - search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites; self-protection measures; seek early consultation of symptoms; and support spraying or fogging to prevent further outbreaks. (PNA)