MANILA, Philippines – Officials of Zamboanga City declared a dengue outbreak on Wednesday following a significant rise in dengue cases in the last 4 months. According to city health officer Dr. Rodel Agbulos, dengue cases in Zamboanga have reached 774 from January to April. Nine fatalities caused by the illness have been recorded.
The local government will release P500,000 in emergency funds, which will be used to purchase chemicals that will prevent the spread of dengue-carrying mosquitoes. Authorities will also strengthen its clean-up drive especially in known breeding places of mosquitoes. He noted that the areas where dengue cases are high have rivers and cemeteries that are common breading grounds of mosquitoes. Meanwhile, Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat urged residents to donate blood to the Red Cross for dengue patients. Forty-two cases of dengue have already been reported in May. The Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Dr. Eric Tayag said they are closely monitoring the dengue cases here after they observed a rare strain of dengue circulating in the city. Tayag said the surge in dengue cases in the city is a bit unusual in this time of the year and is suspecting the circulation of the said dengue strain. According to Tayag, this strain is different from the strain that infected thousands of persons last year. “What circulated there (Zamboanga City) last year was sero type 2,” Tayag said. “If we have dengue 4 circulating in an area, many patients will develop dengue shock syndrome or dengue hemorrhagic fever. This is the last phase, the most severe among all strains,” Jalani said in vernacular.