Dengue cases, deaths declining significantly in 2021 — DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The number of dengue cases and deaths dropped significantly in the first four months of 2021 compared to the same period last year as health authorities continue to intensify measures against the illness amid the COVID-19 pandemic, an official from the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.
Aileen Espiritu, Program Manager of the DOH’s National Aedes-borne Viral Disease Prevention and Control Program, said that there were only 21,478 cases of dengue from January to April 17, or a 56 percent decrease from the 49,135 cases reported from the same period in 2020.
Meanwhile, there were only 80 deaths for the same period this year, 55 percent lower than the 179 deaths from last year.
“For 2021, as of morbidity week 15, that is until April 17 of this year, we remain hopeful that the decrease in cases will continue, and of course this must be partnered with an integrated vector control management and other prevention activities,” Espiritu said during an online media forum.
Espiritu noted that dengue cases and mortalities have “greatly fluctuated” starting 2018, but cases started to increase in August 2019 when a national dengue epidemic was declared in the country over a spike in morbidities.
In 2018, there were a total of 216,190 reported dengue cases and 1,083 deaths, while in 2019, there were 437,563 reported cases and 1,689 deaths.
Last year, there were a total of 83,335 dengue cases and 324 deaths. Espiritu noted that the number of cases for 2020 was 81 percent lower than in 2019.
“This may be attributed to the implementation of the enhanced 4S strategy… that has been strengthened in every household especially when we are placed under community quarantine, wherein most of the people stayed at home which could have also led to a better water sanitation hygiene or wash practices, thus decreasing the mosquito breeding grounds,” she explained.
The 4s strategy of the DOH is the following: search and destroy mosquito-breeding sites; secure self-protection measures like wearing long pants and long sleeved shirts and daily use of mosquito repellent; seek early consultation, and support fogging or spraying only in hotspot areas where increase in cases is registered for two consecutive weeks to prevent an outbreak.
Meanwhile, the case fatality rate for dengue was 0.50 in 2018, 0.37 in 2019, 0.39 in 2020, and 0.37 so far in 2021.
Case fatality rate is computed by getting the percentage of deaths from the total number of cases.
“We were able to achieve our target of maintaining the case fatality rate of dengue at less than 1 percent,” said Espiritu.
“However, we recognize that we fell short in meeting the second condition or criteria of the target which is to reduce the case fatality rate by 0.1 percent annually. Hence, we deem that we need to review and update the dengue clinical case management in order to fully obtain the annual target,” she added.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.