16 deaths due to dengue have already been recorded in Negros Oriental by the Department of Health (DOH), an alarming rise in the middle of the rainy season.

The records show a total of 2,823 cases reported in the province since January 1  up to August 17 this year, 209 percent higher compared to the same period last year with only 915 dengue cases reported with six fatalities, according to Dr. Socrates Villamor, DOH provincial chief.

Dumaguete has the highest number of dengue cases in the province with 329 followed by Mabinay with 268; Bayawan City with 249; Siaton with 244; Sibulan with 210; Pamplona with 189; Bais City with 188; Sta. Catalina with 185; Guihulngan City with 165; and Basay with 115 cases.

Villamor urged the public to be more vigilant because of the rising numbers in Dengue cases this year compared to last year.

He added that the declaration of an outbreak or epidemic area is in the hands of the local government to decide.

“The new protocol now is for the DOH to provide the data to the LGUs on which areas have reached the epidemic threshold, then it’s up to the LGU to declare an epidemic outbreak in that specific area,” Villamor said.

As of press time, no areas in Negros Oriental have been declared by the local government as an epidemic area or an outbreak.

Basay and Mabinay town both reached an “epidemic threshold” but the local officials did not make any move to declare an outbreak.  (RJ Espartinez)