DUMAGUETE CITY – The number of dengue cases in Negros Oriental continued to soar in recent weeks, resulting in a steep spike of more than 100 percent from last year’s figure.

Assistant Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Liland Estacion, said on Tuesday that her office tallied a total of 658 dengue cases from January 1 to June 25, which is 102 percent higher than the 325 cases recorded during the same period last year.

Three deaths were also recorded early this year.

“This is becoming worrisome now because of the sudden increase that we have seen in recent weeks,” Estacion said in mixed English and Cebuano.

She noted that in the past two years, at the height of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, the province logged very low dengue cases.

This was attributed to people staying home with very little exposure to others due to strict quarantine restrictions, she said.

Canlaon City led the top 10 towns and cities with the highest number of dengue cases at 158, followed by Bayawan City, 76; Dumaguete City, 58; Sta. Catalina, 40; Bais City, 39; Guihulngan City, 34; Sibulan, 32; Valencia, 23; Basay and Tanjay City, 20 each; while the rest had less than 20.

Records from the Provincial Health Office showed that the majority of the cases were male patients at 53 percent. The ages of cases ranged from zero to 77 years old, affecting mostly the aged group of 1-10 years old at 35 percent.

Estacion called on the people to help slow down the dengue cases, especially during this “epidemic” or “outbreak” year, by cleaning their surroundings to eradicate breeding sites of mosquitoes, which are the vector or carriers of the dengue virus. (PNA)