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In just 21 days, the Cebu City Health Department (CHD) has recorded 180 dengue cases and one death. The latest fatality was a nine-year-old boy from sitio Alumnos, barangay Mambaling who died last Aug. 21.

Cebu City Epidemiologist Durinda Macasocol said the number of dengue cases in the city had reached the 1,000 mark from January to August 21.

But despite the surge in the number of dengue cases, there were fewer deaths compared to the same period last year. From 820 dengue cases reported in July, the number of cases jumped to 1,000 as of the latest CHD count and affected mostly children.

The city government offers free CBC (complete blood count) for patients suspected with the dengue virus and free hospitalization to those diagnosed with the mosquito-borned disease.

Christian Suson of barangay Mambaling was the latest fatality. He died at the Visayas Community Medical Center (VCMC). Yesterday, seven children were admitted for dengue at the Cebu City Memorial Medical Center (CCMC), according to Dr. James Maratas, junior consultant assigned at the pediatrics ward.

Dr. Glenda Taalim, CCMC pediatrics ward chief, said they are monitoring the condition of the children to make sure they don’t reach the point where they will experience dengue shock syndrome. Dengue shock syndrome mostly affects children below 10, according to MedicineNet.com. It causes abdominal pains and bleeding.

Also known as dengue hemorrhagic fever, it starts with continuous high fever and headache with respiratory and intestinal symptoms with sore throat, cough, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

A total of 36 dengue patients are currently confined at the CCMC. The last fatality at CCMC was a one-year-old baby who died in July. But the death was not due to advanced dengue strain but because the patient has a cardiac problem. Maratas said the number of their dengue patients had not gone down.

“So far, still the same there are still a lot of them (dengue patients),” Maratas told CEBU DAILY NEWS. Mostly affected are children because female mosquitos are attracted to highly active individuals.

Cebu City Health officer Dr. Stella Ygoña has already recommended that barangay officials help spearhead the campaign to destroy the breeding grounds of dengue-carrying mosquitos.

Nationwide, the number of dengue cases has continued to rise and has reached 62,503 from January to August 21 this year.