DOH declares national dengue alert
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.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said from January 1 to June 29, 2019, 106,630 dengue cases have been reported nationwide, an 85 percent increase from the 57,564 cases reported over the same period last year.
“This is the first time that we’re declaring a national alert. Because the objective is very clear. We want to raise awareness among the public and more importantly, in communities where signs of early dengue increases are evident,” Duque pointed out.
Duque clarified there is no national epidemic as the cases of dengue are localized.
“We don’t have a national epidemic. 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. There is no national epidemic but there is certainly regional” added Duque.
Duque said that the five regions have exceeded the epidemic threshold.
The following regions, on the other hand, are being monitored after exceeding the alert threshold: Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Bicol region, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Davao region, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Cordillera Administrative Region.
Western Visayas had the most number of reported dengue cases so far this year with 13,164, followed by Calabarzon (11,474 cases), Central Visayas (9,199 cases), Soccsksargen (9,107 cases) and Northern Mindanao (8,739 cases).
“Dengue is a viral disease with no known vaccine or specific antivirals,” Duque explained.
“Effective surveillance can also help in reducing cases and deaths if areas with clustering of cases are identified early.” / gsg
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