Philippine authorities declare national dengue alert after 456 deaths

Health Secretary Francisco Duque and World Health Organization country representative Dr. Gundo Weiler

Health Secretary Francisco Duque and World Health Organization country representative Dr. Gundo Weiler

Philippine Health Secretary Dr Francisco Duque III during a press conference in Manila, Philippines.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday declared a national dengue alert amid a spike in reported cases of the viral illness caused by female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in several regions.

According to the Philippine Department of Health (DoH), from January 1 to June 29 this year, 106,630 dengue cases had been reported nationwide, an 85 percent increase from the 57,564 cases reported over the same period of last year, and at least 450 deaths were recorded.

Under a national dengue alert, public hospitals, health centers, and local government units must be prepared with medicine, equipment and personnel to respond to dengue cases. Because the objective is very clear.

Monicimpo said they have already heightened the "4s" campaign in the areas with highest cases to minimize the occurrence of dengue.

Duque said the DOH is closely monitoring other regions across the country.

"We don't have a national epidemic".

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The WHO said severe dengue was recognized in the 1950s during epidemics in the Philippines and Thailand.

It's localized. As I have mentioned, the top among the regions would be Western Visayas, followed by Calabarzon, Central Visayas, Soccsksargen and Northern Mindanao.

"The last peak occurred in 2016".

Cases of the illness are 85 percent higher than at the same time past year, the health authorities warned.

"The incidence is not affected by the lower vaccination in the past few years and also we find no connection between the areas were dengue vaccination was given previously, and the number of cases that we're having now..."

This prompted the department to declare a "national dengue alert, " calling on regional offices to increase surveillance of dengue cases and provide prevention and cure for the disease.

Dengue should be suspected when a high fever (104 degrees Fahrenheit) is accompanied by two of the following symptoms: severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands or rash, World Health Organization reported.

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