HEALTH OFFICIALS in the Davao Region have raised the alarm after the number of dengue cases increased in the first quarter of the year, with two deaths reported due to the mosquito-borne disease. Based on a report of the Department of Health Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit, there were 1,551 dengue patients in the first three months, almost triple the number during the same period last year. The deaths were one each in Davao City and Davao Oriental. Majority of the cases were in Davao City at 644. City Health Officer Josephine J. Villafuerte called on the public to cooperate with authorities in implementing mitigation programs, particularly in ensuring cleanliness in their communities. “We have never stopped in our campaign (against dengue), (but) we are asking the community to help us because we cannot do it all,” said Ms. Villafuerte. — Carmelito Q. Francisco