More and more Filipinos are infected with the dengue virus, largely disproving President Benigno Aquino’s claim in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) that the Philippines is on its way to managing the deadly mosquito-borne disease.
The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday reported a 16-percent spike in dengue cases in the country this year.
There were already 51,597 cases recorded from Jan. 1 to July 14, according to the DOH National Epidemiology Center’s (NEC) dengue surveillance report.
“This is 16.43 percent higher compared to the same period last year, which was 44,315,” said the NEC.
The number of deaths from the dengue virus also rose to 328, which is higher than the 293 cases recorded during the same period last year.
Most of the cases centered in Metro Manila with 11,476. This was followed by Calabarzon with 7,265 and Central Luzon with 7,044.
Sharp rises in dengue incidence were also recorded in the Zamboanga Peninsula from 687 last year to 2,250 (227 percent) this year; Bicol from 576 to 1,369 (137 percent); the Davao region from 1,724 to 4,078 (136 percent), and Western Visayas from 1,634 to 3,668 (124 percent).
A little over half, or 53 percent, of dengue patients were male, the NEC reported.
Many of the patients were children. According to the DOH, 40 percent of the cases were also found to belong to the 1 to 10 age group.
In his Sona, Aquino praised the measures made by the DOH and the Department of Science and Technology to curtail dengue, singling out for special mention Health Secretary Enrique Ona and Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo.