First anti-dengue vaccines for kids eyed in March
    Dengue down by 2 percent in CL

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    SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga- A slight decrease in the number of dengue cases in Central Luzon has been reported by the Department of Health (DOH) here.

    This, even as the regional DOH office also announced that Grade 4 pupils in the region will be among the beneficiaries this March of the newly development anti-denque vaccines. Central Luzon, the National Capital Region, and the Southern Tagalog Region were chosen for the initial  anti dengue immunizations in the country.

    An updated surveillance report  from the DOH’s  Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit indicated that  from 778 dengue cases reported in the first half of January last year, the number as of last Jan. 15 this year is less by two percent at 766 dengue cases.

    The report said that so far in 2016, Pampanga posted the highest number at  237 cases followed by Bataan with 159; Nueva Ecija with 144; Bulacan with 96;Tarlac with 55; Aurora with 45;and Zambales with 30.

    The  DOH said no fatalities have been reported yet.

    “DOH constantly reminds the public to continue working towards the total eradication of the disease in the region by maintaining communities clean and free of mosquitoes,” the DOH said.

    “Fogging should only be used as a last resort to eradicate dengue. In the event that this method is used, we must ensure that the correct fogging cycle is followed because if not, instead of eliminating dengue, it will only worsen the case,” DOH Regional Epidemiologist Jessie Fantone warned.

    The Health Department also continuously advocates the 4 o’ clock habit, which encourages everyone to stop their activities at 4 pm daily so as to look for and destroy stagnant pools of water that could serve as breeding ground for the Aedes Egypti mosquitoes which carry the dengue virus.

    This, even as Fantone also disclosed that the region is one of the pilot beneficiaries of the anti-dengue vaccine, alongside National Capital Region and CALABARZON.

    “We were chosen as beneficiaries following the high number of dengue cases in 2015 which reached 35,694 cases,” Fantone furthered.

    The administering of the dengue vaccine will be held in March, with Grade 4 public school students as initial beneficiaries, he said.

    Dengue-carrying  mosquitoes bite during daytime. Headache, fever, muscle and joint pains and skin rashes characterize the disease.

    In extreme cases, bleeding of the gums and nose may occur.

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