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Dengue threatens Boracay

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With just two more months before it reopens to tourists, Boracay Island faces a potential health threat: a spike in dengue cases.

The Aklan provincial health office said it noted a 20-percent rise in dengue cases in the world-famous island in Malay town.

“We have already met with the Rural Health Unit of Malay and the barangay councils and have conducted advocacy campaign in communities,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Cornelio Cuachon Jr.

Cuachon said they recorded 29 suspected cases from Jan. 1 to Aug. 4, though there were no fatalities.

In the same period last year, there were 24 dengue cases recorded.

Of the 29 cases, 24 were from Barangay Manoc-Manoc, four in Balabag, and one in Yapak. Most of the victims were aged 11 to 20.

Cuachon said they monitored the clustering of cases, involving an increase of three or more cases in four consecutive weeks.

But Cuachon did not discount the possibility the ongoing road construction may have contributed to higher dengue cases.

“If there is stagnant water then it can contribute to the increase. Because it serves as breeding sites of mosquitoes,” he said.

Boracay is due to open in October, six months after being closed to tourists for environmental rehabilitation.