VIRUS CARRIER. The Negros Oriental Provincial Health Office on Monday (Jan. 16, 2023) reports that dengue cases in the province continue to rise. Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion appealed to the people to continue cleaning their surroundings to eradicate breeding grounds of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes. (PNA file photo)

DUMAGUETE CITY – A health official in Negros Oriental on Monday warned the public against letting their guard down as dengue cases are seen to still rise this year.

Assistant Provincial Health Officer Dr. Liland Estacion said the upward trend in dengue cases is expected to continue this year because of the easing of quarantine restrictions in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“People are now spending more time outside of their homes and the more engagements and interaction with others, the higher the risk of transmission of the dengue virus,” she said in mixed English and Cebuano.

Last year, the province logged a high infection rate compared to 2021 at the height of the pandemic when most of the people were restricted to their homes, she noted.

In 2022, the number of dengue cases in Negros Oriental was pegged at 2,232 with 11 deaths, while in 2021, only 803 infections with no deaths were reported, records from the Provincial Health Office (PHO) showed.

Estacion also noted that weird weather patterns contribute to dengue transmission as breeding grounds of mosquitos that carry the virus are amplified.

As of Jan. 7 this year, the PHO reported a total of 23 cases with no deaths, which is 28 percent higher compared to the 18 infections and zero deaths during the same period last year.

La Libertad town had the highest number of cases at 13, followed by Bais City and Dumaguete with three each; Bayawan City, Manjuyod, Dauin and Sta. Catalina, with one each. (PNA)