ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Feb. 23, 2008) – At least 170 people have been infected with dengue in the southern Philippine port city of Zamboanga.
Mayor Celso Lobregat said more than 170 people had been infected with dengue since early this year and has appealed to residents to help fight the disease by cleaning their surroundings.
But latest reports said as much as 243 people were infected by the disease – 186 in January and 84 since early this month and that two had already died.
"There is an outbreak of dengue, according to the City Health Office, and we are appealing to everybody to help us fight dengue by cleaning our houses, backyards and surroundings and to get rid of breeding places of mosquitoes, such as stagnant water, canals, flower pots and discarded tires," he said in a television broadcast.
Dengue is an infectious tropical disease caused by an arbovirus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, and characterized by high fever, rash, headache, and severe muscle and joint pain.
Lobregat said the dengue outbreak has affected many villages and that most of the victims were children. He also appealed to village officials to continue their clean-up drive to curtail the rise in dengue cases.
He said the number of dengue cases from January to February is five times more during the same period last year.
The Department of Health said more than 300 people had died and that 30,000 more infected with dengue last year. It said the most effective ways to fight dengue are to search and destroy the breeding sites of Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes such as coconut husks and empty bottles and tin cans.
It also urged citizens to seek immediate treatment when symptoms set in, and to stop indiscriminate fogging. (Mindanao Examiner)