Dengue cases may surge further by October – DOH exec
MANILA, Philippines — Dengue cases in the country may rise further by October, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.
Although the health agency has already declared a national dengue epidemic, DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the current number of cases has yet to reach its peak.
From January to July 20 this year, DOH has already recorded 622 deaths and 146,062 cases of dengue. This, according to DOH, was 98% higher than the number of cases recorded in the same period last year.
“We are predicting na hindi pa ito ‘yung peak natin, ‘yung number of cases. Our epidemiologists are saying that by October baka mas tataas pa ‘yung kaso natin,” Vergeire said during a hearing of the Senate committee on health.
In a separate interview, DOH Epidemiology Bureau Director Chito Avelino explained that dengue cases can still increase even after the rainy season.
“Normally during the rain, ‘yung mosquito density ay mababa pero after the rain, doon dadami na naman kasi doon magha-hatch ‘yung eggs at kung itong mga lamok na ito ay infected at marami silang kakagatin, mas lalo pang tataas ang kaso natin,” Avelino said.
He even pointed out that current figures are only half of what DOH is expecting if the dengue epidemic is not addressed.
“What we are seeing now might be just half of what we are expecting. Nasa 50 percent pa lang tayo kung hindi tayo gagalaw ngayon,” he said.
Avelino then called on the public to exercise DOH’s “4S” strategy to avoid dengue. These are: “Search and destroy” mosquito-breeding sites; employ “Self-protection measures”; “Seek early consultation”; and “Support fogging/spraying” only in hotspot areas where increase in cases is registered.
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