CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Northern Mindanao's dengue cases have reached the “epidemic” threshold with a 134.25 percent increase this year compared to the 2021 figures, the Department of Health in Region 10 (DOH-10) said Thursday.

In a media forum, DOH-10 medical technologist Gemma Uy said the increase in cases was recorded from January 1 to June 11 this year at 3,844, compared to 1,641 in 2021.

Uy said data from the DOH-10’s Regional Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Disaster Response Unit indicated that the province of Bukidnon has recorded the most number of dengue cases this year with 1,322.

It was followed by Cagayan de Oro City (757); Misamis Oriental (718); Lanao del Norte (502); Iligan City (294); Misamis Occidental (244); Camiguin province (7).

“Our doctors already know how to manage (suspected dengue cases) at the primary level before it becomes severe; because there were some [cases] where they let two to three days pass before they submit themselves to the hospital,” Uy said in vernacular.

In the same period, DOH-10 also recorded 14 deaths in Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte provinces.

To avoid more deaths, Uy urged parents to immediately bring their children to the nearest health station, especially if they have symptoms such as fever and rashes.

“Once the stomach becomes painful, that means there is already bleeding. So, we should not let this happen,” she said.

Uy also underscored the importance of the 5S strategy to fight the increasing number of dengue cases amid the ongoing threat of the coronavirus disease-2019.

The 5S strategy consists of searching and destroying mosquito-breeding sites, self-protection measures, seeking early consultation, supporting fogging for impending outbreaks, and sustain hydration. (PNA)